Snapshot: Melissa Cercone
Occupation: I am the new Marketing & Community Outreach Coordinator for Newtown Youth & Family Services (NYFS), a nonprofit youth service bureau and mental health clinic for children, teens, adults, and seniors. I am responsible for informing the community of the programs and services we offer, like our Social Rec group for youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders or other social difficulties and our Parenting Education Program, which educates adults about the many issues children face when their family situation changes.
I am appreciative of the opportunity to work for an organization that has helped Newtown through tragedy and joy, watched children grow, and has played a vital part in the community for over 30 years.
Family: I have a son, Owen, who will be 3 in May. He keeps my husband, Mike, and me on our toes! He wants to be involved in and help with everything we do and is very active. He is always running, jumping, and climbing. Mike and I have been married for four years but have known each other since high school. He is a teacher at Masuk High School in Monroe and Naugatuck Community College.
Pets: I have a sweet dog named Otis. He is a large hound/lab mix. His two favorite things are lounging in the sun and food.
What do you like to do in your free time? Relax, be outside, spend time with family and friends, go to concerts, cook — but really my free time is all about my son and keeping him busy and active. We take him to a lot of different places like the zoo, aquarium, playgrounds, trampoline park, science centers, soccer, etc.
What is your favorite travel destination? I like all travel destinations. I studied abroad in Argentina; I spent a summer in Alaska; I’ve vacationed on islands and have traveled to many cities for work. Every place I have been has offered a unique and exciting experience.
What has been the greatest influence in your life? My experiences. After high school, I signed myself up for many situations that were out of my comfort zone (attending college 12 hours away from everyone I knew, studying abroad, seasonal work in Alaska), and I truly believe those experiences shaped me into the person I am today.
If you could spend the day with one person, who would you choose and why? My grandfather. He is no longer with us. I miss him terribly, and I would love the opportunity to spend one more day with him so I can ask all of the questions I never got to ask and hear all of the stories he would tell over and over again just one more time.
What is your favorite band? I like all types of music, and my favorite artists tend to change. I’ve been a big fan of The Zac Brown Band for a while now, and I am really into Mumford & Sons, who I will be seeing in concert for the first time at the end of the month.
Do you have a favorite TV show? I wouldn’t say I have a favorite, but I do like a lot of different TV shows — Friends, Parks & Recreation, A Million Little Things, Parenthood, Shameless, and Game of Thrones.
What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever been given? You’re responsible for your own happiness.
What is something you cannot live without? My friends and family.
What is your proudest accomplishment? My son. He amazes me every day with how fast he is learning and growing.
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