Melissa Markey "73"
Greetings, Fellow Covelianos!
I have been so moved and inspired reading all of your mini-bios in preparation for our reunion. I am looking forward to seeing everyone again. Allow me to start with a wonderful quote that I have found by the writer Anais Nin, which, I feel, illustrates who I am in the world:
“Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what they will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.”
I feel like this quote also embodies the mission of the Elbert Covell College, whose mandate was to create an "inter-American spirit" - educating bilingual specialists and business people who understand Latin America and serve as effective communicators between the U.S. and Latin American cultures.
For the past 30 years, I have dedicated myself to working for the U.S. Department of Defense. I work for this organization because I love my country. Because I believe in peace, I want people worldwide to have the privilege of going safely and securely to bed each night.
At Covell, in between futbol and salsas, I had dreams of working for the State Department and working my way up the ladder to become a career Ambassador, known for understanding and appreciating Latin America. I hope that by serving as a Defense Department liaison, I have helped improve communication and understanding day by day between the various international government agencies.
When I first graduated in 1973, I had the honor and privilege of receiving two fellowships - one from Rotary to study in Chile, and another from Scottish Rite to receive my Masters in Latin American Studies at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In 1979, I was hired by the Defense Intelligence Agency (la Agregaduria Militar) as a Spanish linguist at the U.S. Embassies in Spain, Peru, Colombia and Argentina. Travelling in my Ford Fiesta, I remember with longing those wonderful fruit drinks from the kiosks in Bogota, the elegance and cosmopolitan lifestyle of Buenos Aires, the calm of Huancayo and splendor of Macchu Pichu, as well as the wonderful little towns and special festivals in Spain.
I have continued to travel frequently; a trip to West Africa for work was memorable. My favorite recent experience was going to Romania with Global Volunteers, to tutor conversational English to high school students near the Russian border. Nowadays, I work as a liaison at the Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, which is responsible for acquiring military communications satellites.
Besides the career, I returned to California to be near my 96-year-old father. For eight years, I wanted live closer to my Dad who still lives in my hometown of La Jolla, near San Diego. He still has his own apartment and walks to his bridge club, where he plays "every day that ends in a Y.”
It is out of Landmark Education that I created my job in Los Angeles. I had heard that this program could make a huge difference for me and my life. PROFOUNDLY, it has! It introduced a new way of thinking, creating an empowering context from within. I didn't realize how complacent I had become, expecting "the system" to take care of me, rather than creating being responsible for myself. I had been actively searching for a position in California with no success. After participating in a Landmark Education course, I boldly applied for an engineering position. I had previously always deemed myself unqualified for that position and NEVER would have applied. Now I have an excellent job in which I routinely work with and manage engineers. My father is forever grateful, having family nearby. I see him every chance I get and am honored to be with him.
I have created a fabulous, fun career, have great communication with my Dad AND am now open to new adventures and experiences that are more than I could ever have previously imagined. I would have never gotten there if it wasn’t for my participation at Covell!
Melissa Markey '73