Hi, I am Melissa Daria and I’m a Freshman at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. I recently just finished my first semester of college while accomplishing the Dean’s List and living in a Leadership and Service Learning Community. My school offers a leadership and service study abroad program in which students virtually partner with teachers in a Malawian school during the spring semester to develop a project to benefit the 800+ students and the larger community. Then during the summer, we spend almost a month in Malawi executing our projects. I have been more than fortunate and blessed to be given an opportunity to travel on a leadership and service study abroad trip this May to Malawi, Africa.

Leadership and Service Learning: This one stood out to me because it goes beyond just learning about another country to actually partnering with teachers and working with students to have a real positive impact. The skills I develop and experiences I have during this trip will be used not only to benefit the students in Malawi, but also be brought back to impact my UNCW school community and my future  I am overwhelmed with joy that I can contribute my love and positivity with a whole new country. I want to make an impact in the warm hearts of this culture that will not only impact them but myself as well.

Thinking Bigger: I was born and raised in North Carolina and haven’t made it too far off the east coast, I want to get outside my little world and experience what life is like in other places. Not only will it be an adventure of a lifetime but I know it will have a huge impact on me being exposed to a different culture by traveling to Africa. What better way is there to discover and develop leadership skills, service learning, research sustainability studies, global citizenship, and experience the Malawian culture? It will be my first time on a plane, but even cooler...I will be the first Daria to visit the continent of Africa, this is just the beginning of many "firsts" that I will experience from this trip of a lifetime!

Accompanying this campaign I am also executing fundraisers to help me get to Africa this summer. No donation is too small, every dollar will get me closer to fulfilling this dream of mine! I appreciate everyone’s support tremendously and I could not be more grateful for your encouragement as I participate in this trip.

lots of love and thanks,


p.s. these pictures are from the 2016 trip but it is the same school as to where I will be this summer :)
  • outside donations
    • $300 (Offline)
    • 68 mos
  • PURA VIDA Bracelet Fundraiser Sales
    • $275 (Offline)
    • 68 mos
  • Katlin King
    • $11 
    • 68 mos
  • Meet in the Street Fundraiser
    • $360 (Offline)
    • 68 mos
  • PURA VIDA Bracelets Fundraiser
    • $425 (Offline)
    • 68 mos
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Melissa Daria
Wake Forest, NC

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