Melissa Rioux

Photo: Donna Alberico

3 of 11
Melissa Rioux, Age 30 (Before)
Manager, COLOR Club at Publicolor

After graduating with an art degree, Melissa had an epiphany: "I realized that making my own art satisfied only one part of me. I have a collaborative nature and I really wanted to help others." She found her opportunity in Publicolor, an organization that creates art-based programs to help at-risk kids engage with their schools and their community. Melissa oversees COLOR Club, an intensive yearlong curriculum offering academic tutoring, career workshops, and weekly painting projects that transform schools with vibrant color. "I didn't grow up in an affluent home, but it was always rich in the arts," she says. "That exposure was such a gift; I love being able to pass it on."

To learn more about how Publicolor uses art to inspire young people, go to