Originally from Mississauga, Melissa Valencia settled in Ottawa in 2016. Since then, she’s lived in various neighbourhoods across the city, now residing in Riverside South. A graduate of Algonquin College, she currently works in the federal public service. Her work includes designing client services and Melissa can proudly say she puts people first, ensuring they are central in the decision-making process. Melissa joined Horizon Ottawa because she believes in their inclusive approach to addressing local issues by amplifying the voices of residents from all across the city: urban, suburban, and rural. Melissa is active in her community and volunteers with other grassroots organizations, such as the public servants’ Anti-Racism Ambassadors Network and the youth-led ONCANADA Project. Melissa is fluent in Spanish, English, and French and is a child of Colombian immigrants.