Melissa Ann Rice is a motivational speaker, mental health and anti-bullying advocate, and author of “The People You Meet in Real Life.” She is a 2009 honors graduate of Immaculata University and speaks with Minding Your Minds’ speaking program about mental health specifically Depression, Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, anti-bullying, positive coping and peer support and is on the board of the Philadelphia chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). She mentors a student run peer-to-peer support group called CogWell at the University of Pennsylvania and has been recognized for her advocacy work with numerous awards including the honorable mention Jerry Greenspan Student Voice of Mental Health Award given by the Jed Foundation of America at a gala in June 2009 in New York City.
Melissa has appeared on several local radio and television programs including 99.5 WJBR’s Sunday Morning show, the CW Philly’s Speak Up and a NBC10 special “Beyond Bullying” with News anchor Lori Wilson. She was also featured as Mark Wahlberg’s science student in M. Night Shyamalan’s film, The Happening and is involved with numerous national mental health organizations, which have given her the chance to host and attend many events where she has worked with celebrities and public figures such as Mariel Hemingway, Brittany Snow, Joey Pantoliano, Ron Howard and Glenn Close.
Melissa’s first book “The People You Meet in Real Life,” which features her personal story and the amazing first-hand stories of people she has found inspiration and hope from along her journey, was released in 2013. Melissa is currently working with the non-profit organization iChoose2live (www.ichoose2live.com) on an anti-bullying and anti-violence campaign for the Philadelphia area and also working to release her first music single called “Hope Strong”.