Melissa Mister is standing in front of a white background wearing a blue blouse. She is holding a tambourine and smiling at the camera.Melissa Mister

Chief Program Officer

Melissa believes that all young people deserve equitable access to engaging opportunities to grow that spark joy and inspire hope.  A former teacher, principal, and Chief Program Officer of a large, youth-serving, Chicago-based nonprofit, she brings over twenty years of experience in the fields of education, youth development, arts education, and non-profit administration to her role as Chief Program Officer at Music Will. Melissa has rich experience in scaling programs, establishing partnerships, and growing professional development and other supports to teachers. She has been responsible for ensuring high quality experiences for thousands of instructors and students and for developing innovative approaches to partnering with and supporting schools. She has presented at national conferences on topics that she is passionate about including culturally responsive youth programming, developing learning communities, and supporting program quality. She holds degrees and certificates in psychology, education, and school leadership. A Chicago native, she grew up immersed in blues and jazz music thanks to her parents’ immense love for the genres. Melissa continues to reside on the south side of Chicago with her husband and three children. She loves to read and spend time with her large, extended family. She is also an enthusiastic sports mom.