Downtown YMCA recognizes CPA senior as Youth of the Year
Downtown YMCA recognizes CPA senior as Youth of the Year
Posted on 02/26/2013
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Amira MellionThe YMCA of Greater St. Louis recognized Amira Mellion of Confluence Preparatory Academy as the Downtown YMCA’s Youth of the Year.


Mellion, a senior, was honored at the annual Youth of the Year Awards Dinner. The YMCA recognized 14 branch winners and the overall 2013 Youth of the Year. The branch awards are presented to youth who demonstrate exceptional leadership skills and volunteer their time to the Y and the community.


Mellion is involved with the YMCA Leaders Club and Youth in Government. At school, she is the class president and a member of Student Council. She is a manager for the girls’ basketball team, a teacher’s aide and helps her peers during study hall. She also works part-time at an area restaurant.


Mellion was familiar with the Youth of the Year program, but didn’t think much of it.


“I’d heard about the award before, but it never occurred to me that I could be eligible for it,” said Mellion. “I was nominated by my advisor at the Y.”


She is humble, yet proud of the honor.


“I actually feel pretty awesome about it. It gives me a sense of accomplishment,” she said. “I’m proud of myself because when I started my senior year, I wanted to accomplish something and I’ve done that.


“I’ve been involved at school and made contributions. I try to be there as a friend. There’s a lot of stress with senior year and we all have things in our personal lives, but I do what I can to help others,” she said.


Mellion admits that she is a little tough on herself. “I’m a bit of an over-achiever,” she said. “I set my goals high.”


As for the award, she has two special people to thank.


“I want to thank my mom, definitely; and Liz Frame, my advisor at the Y.”


As a branch winner, she received a scholarship to Lindenwood University in St. Charles for approximately $33,000.


Mellion has been accepted to Lindenwood, University of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Louis Community College-Forest Park, Webster University and Saint Xavier University in Chicago.


She is weighing her options about which college to attend, and she will continue to apply for scholarships.


She wants to major in business administration.


“A lot of things I want to do relate to business. I want to be able to tie them together.” She’s also interested in pursuing a master’s degree.


Mellion started school at CPA as a junior. She was homeschooled by her mother before attending public school. Her experiences are why she offers the following advice to students and other young people.


“Never sell yourself short. I didn’t think that I’d be where I am today. There were naysayers who thought I couldn’t make the transition to high school from home school, but I’ve done it. And I have good grades.”


Her other bit of advice is “hard work does pay off.”


“Everyone has a story. Everyone has a reason why they are who they are. You never know what a person is going through. But if you tough it out, even if it may seem like you’re not getting anywhere, you will get somewhere.”


At the awards ceremony, she got to hear the stories of the other winners. Their stories were an inspiration to Mellion.

"Hearing the other stories made me want to achieve more. I want to continue to reach my goals and surpass them."

YMCA Picture
Amira Mellion (center) is the Downtown YMCA's Youth of the Year. She is pictured
with Gary Schlankser, president/CEO of the YMCA (left) and James Evans, president,
Lindenwood University. (Photo courtesy of YMCA)