By Thea Flanzer
I recently had the fantastic opportunity to interview Laurel Springs alumna Melanie Sava. During my invigorating conversation with Melanie, I found that she is the embodiment of a Laurel Springs student. We connected after I had discovered that she was studying at the prestigious Yale Law School, and while this connection to Yale was the catalyst that sparked my interest in meeting her, I soon learned that she is a truly remarkable, kind, and inspiring person. Her bright personality, humble intelligence, and zest for learning made her a popular candidate through the admissions process when applying to law school and resulted in her acceptance to every program in the Ivy League.
Melanie’s accolades alone make her an impressive Laurel Springs graduate, yet her personality and ambition make her a role model for current students. I was able to have a stimulating conversation with Melanie about her education and her love of literature.
Melanie is currently in the second year of her Yale Law studies and loves this semester’s challenging course schedule. When asked about a specific course that stands out to her, she is quick to rave about one in particular.
“I am taking a class on criminal procedure,” says Melanie, “Which is sort of how a criminal trial works, how the criminal process works. I am not particularly interested in criminal law, so I didn’t expect to really connect with the course in the way that I have, but the readings are really fascinating.”
In addition to her devoted passion for learning, Melanie is also one of the most ambitious people with whom I have ever had the pleasure of speaking with. When she ponders the future of her career, she dreams of working for a law firm or in the private sector pro-Bono for female survivors.
The roots of Melanie’s lofty legal ambitions can be traced back to her classes at Laurel Springs, which she attended from first grade through Upper School. She claims her classes fueled her ambition to pursue a career in the legal field and was inspired and transformed by her US History and Government class.
“I took US Government, a class that was focused on political subjects for the first time and a deeper dive than my history classes or my social studies,” says Melanie. “We had assignments that were particularly thought-provoking, putting you in the shoes of a particular leader and allowing you to figure out what you would have done.” Melanie felt that this unique way of critical thinking and learning with perspective inspired her to pursue a career in law.
While Melanie was praised for her dedication to academics, she was also an extremely active member in the Laurel Springs social community, finding time to be a member of Laurel Springs’ Debate Club, Music Club, Student Government, National Honor Society, and the prom committee while managing to balance a challenging course load. In addition to serving as the sophomore representative and parliamentarian of Student Government, Melanie also served as the National Honor Society president during her junior and senior years. Melanie would say her greatest achievement during her years at LSS, her piece de resistance, was being the driving force behind the production of the first physical Laurel Springs School yearbook, which has become an honored tradition K-12 students look forward to each year.
“My senior year was the year that we published our first print yearbook,” explains Melanie. “My classmates, my friends, and I put a ton of effort into getting that first batch of yearbooks printed, getting everything formatted, and figuring out how to do it. It was a lot more work than we anticipated it being but we got it done.”
After graduating from Laurel Springs, Melanie received her undergraduate degree from Mount Saint Mary’s University, a well-respected women’s university in Los Angeles, California. Just as she left a long-lasting legacy at Laurel Springs, she also made her mark in college, serving on a mock trial and moot court, participating in Student Government and serving as president during her senior year, and acting as a peer mentor for her school’s commuter population. In additional, Melanie founded a chapter of the Oxfam America Club, a society
“I was on a mock trial and moot court there, I was in Student Government and served as president my senior year. I served as a peer mentor for students who commuted to campus, and I founded a chapter of the Oxfam America club,” said Melanie. The Oxfam America Club is a society whose mission is to fight poverty and hunger.
Melanie has a long-lasting habit of continually accomplishing impressive milestones by using her educational resources.
In addition to her passion for learning, and one of the attributes that made Melanie so personable and allowed us to connect, was her love of literature. She is an avid bibliophile and her love of the classics and short stories allowed her to develop an insightful, unique perspective on literature. Melanie feels that Laurel Springs’ English teacher, Mrs. Joy Nehr, helped her develop an admiration for reading and served as a mentor while she held her first leadership positions during Upper School.
After having the opportunity to get to know Melanie, I look forward to hearing about her future accomplishments. She is the type of person who continually seeks to make the world a better place and her passion for law and justice ensure that she will have a very meaningful career following graduation. Melanie continues to have fond memories of the Laurel Springs community and still has meaningful connections with her Upper School peers. Thanks to her tremendous successes, she has proven that virtual distance learning is a viable platform that allows students to be equipped with the qualities and knowledge that allow them to go on to do extraordinary things.
Hey guys! I’m Thea, and I am a sophomore at LSS! I am an actor/singer/dancer, as well as a book nerd. I created Share the Love, my own line of bracelets, using a 3D printer and I donate all of the proceeds to a 501(c)(3) charity- 4 Paws for Ability. I love to read, write, perform, volunteer, watch movies, and travel! I am a proud member of both MUN and NHS.