Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Graduate Profile: Melody Montgomery

Melody (center) with Vol State President,
Jerry Faulkner, and his wife Wanda.

Some college students explore academic majors to find out what they want to do for a career. For others, it is a calling that comes from experience, and sometimes that experience is not a positive thing.
“My life has been spent in addiction,” said Melody Montgomery of Livingston. “I’ve been in and out of jail since I was young. I quit high school in the 10th grade. I actually took one of my GED (high school diploma) tests in jail.”
That initiative took her to Vol State at 43 years of age. She had a singular purpose: “I want to work with women who have been involved in drugs and alcohol,” she said. “I like showing people that there is hope; that there is a life beyond addiction.”
She’s already making a difference as a house manager at a Christian reentry home in Cookeville. The facility helps people in recovery come back into the community. And her work doesn’t stop there. She and her husband, Danny, share their tough experiences on the road.
“My husband found the Lord in prison and today we do prison ministry all across the Southeast.”
You would imagine, with that kind of enthusiasm for helping others, that Melody would be fond of public speaking. That wasn’t the case.
“Cindy Tallent taught my Speech class at Vol State. She pushed me way outside my comfort zone. She believed in me when I didn’t. I am not a speaker. And yet, I went to a state competition for public speech and won bronze.”
She also served as a President’s Ambassador at Vol State, a prestigious scholarship program that involves many public events.  Montgomery is considering attending Tennessee Tech for social work. She said she will miss the faculty and staff at Vol State.
“Vol State has been my home. The people at the Livingston campus have been my family. I was so nervous going in and everyone made me feel comfortable.”
Husband Danny and her son, 23-year-old Coty Ray, will watch Melody walk across the graduation stage on Saturday.

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