My name is Melissa Nicole Montano Herrera. I was born on August 30, 1999 in Hayward California. My father is Pythias “Pete” Herrera and my mother is Mary Paz Nite Montaño. My elder sister is Michelle Herrera who is 15 years older than me and who was Queen of Miagao in 2004. My grandparents are Engr. Romeo Montaño, Sr. and Alicia Nite Montaño on my mom’s side, and Aquiles Chavez Herrera and Dr. Azucena Varona Herrera on my dad’s side. I am a seventh grader at Newark Junior High School. I am a straight “A” student from Grade 1 through Grade 6. School year started two months ago and I am taking Algebra and Gifted Language Arts which are supposed to be eight-grade subjects. I am sure I have inherited the intelligence of my Uncle Boots Montano who has always been my mentor.

I have been a GATE (Gifted and Talented Education student) for four consecutive years already. I love to dance and I am a student of Step Styles and Spotlights where we perform Hip Hop and our Native dances like Tinikling, Singkil, and Subli, to name a few, in various festivals. I am a sports lover and I play soccer, basketball, and volleyball both in school and in competitive tournaments. I also play piano and ukulele. I have been playing piano for six years and I have won first place in my piano competitions and recitals. I have been playing ukulele for one year. In elementary school, I participated in The Young Authors contest from Grade 1 through Grade 6 . We were asked to write a book, which was submitted to a panel of judges in school. I have participated in this event for six years at my school, and I have won first place. I also ran for the student council and I have always won each year. In the fourth grade, I was the School Treasurer. In the fifth grade I was in Leadership Group, and in sixth grade, I was the head leader in our Leadership Team. I am currently in the yearbook club, ukulele club, gamer club, and dance club at my school. During my free time, I love to work on my computer. For high school, I plan to go to James Logan High School where my sister graduated as Suma Cum Laude . I would love to follow the footsteps of my sister and also go to the University of California-Berkeley for college, and to go beyond what she achieved which was to be on the Dean’s List and be on the Gold Eagle Award’s List. My ultimate goal is to become a doctor.