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Valedictorian promotes seizing opportunities

Melanie Leon ‘14 is one of this year’s graduating class valedictorians. She is from Orlando, Florida and is a Biology major. Leon has peer mentored for several RCCs.

valedictorian1She has also loved to perform with RIP, saying that, “It allows me to have spontaneous fun and is a great mini adrenaline rush each week. Being in shows has been a blast and I always leave smiling and laughing.” Since she has been so involved with Rollins, Leon plans to take a year off from schoolwork for travel and volunteer work after her senior year. After her year off, she plans to go to graduate school.

In her spare time, Leon loves to hang out with her friends and volunteer. She says that: “You can usually find me hanging out in my room laughing with friends or at the wildlife center feeding baby raccoons and otters.”

She also enjoys some activities that would seem intimidating to others. She particularly enjoys skydiving and hang-gliding, calling herself, “a little bit of an adrenaline junkie.”

Her advice to the underclassmen is to seize every opportunity, and to not limit yourself based on where you think your life is going.

Leon recommends: “Try everything you can. College is the time to explore and find your passions. Don’t tie yourself down to one or two interests and commit all of your time to mastering them. Jump at anything that crosses your path, even if you never thought you would try or like that certain activity.”

Throughout her four years at Rollins, she has been very involved in the campus community. Some of her on-campus activities includes Rollins Improv Players, Alpha Omicron Pi, and the honors degree program. She is also the President of the Cornell Scholars, President of NSLS and Order of Omega, and the Associate Artistic Director of Rollins Improv Players.

Off campus, Leon has enjoyed volunteering at Horse Tales and the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Central Florida. She says, “I really do believe that life should not be taken seriously and that it is important to work hard and play hard.”

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