The Reach - Phi Theta Kappa's Blog

The Reach

All the latest information, news and stories to inspire and inform Phi Theta Kappa members

I AM PTK: Melinda Dourte

I AM PTK: Melinda Dourte

Editor’s Note: This post was written and submitted by Melinda Dourte, co-advisor to the Rho Zeta Chapter at Big Bend Community College in Washington.

I am a college dropout. I am a divorced and remarried mother of three. I was afraid.

I am a fulltime employee and have always been someone else’s assistant. I put other people’s needs before my own.

I am a proud mother of two college graduates.

I am a wife, a cook, and a grocery shopper. I am not a math whiz.

I wanted to be a Park Ranger.

I am occasionally whiny.

I wanted to be a botanist.

I love words, art, stories, and where they take me.

I am a college student. I want to teach.

I am younger at 53 than I was at 40.

I have found my voice and some of the chords of my song are scratchy but oh, some are so strong. Married at 18 and divorced by 25, I have walked from fearful to fearless, from wallflower to bold speaker. I sing sometimes softer, and often smarter, and always with the tenor of discovery.

I am an artifact. I am evidence. I am a journal of flowing thoughts that fit snuggly, break apart, and fly freely. I am an individual who joined a collective.

I am learning. I am evolving. I look back just enough to remember how far I have come, most of the time. I look forward with no end in sight.

I am a college graduate. I am earning my bachelor’s degree and maybe my master’s! I am compassion tempered with determination.

I am encouragement and constructive criticism blended to a silky smoothness. I am a draft, revising every day.

I am an alumna.

I am scuffed and bruised. I am resilient.

I am a thinker, a feeler, a leader, a friend. I am — and can hardly believe this one — a PTK Co-Advisor!

Every leaf of my laurel grew through thorns, fertilized with, well, you know…that I turned into gold. Fertilizer enriches the soil we feel stuck in, and later we burst through it green, flexing, and reaching for the sun.

I persevere, I sweat, I glow, I fall, and I get up stronger.

I cry, I swear, I pray. I am a tangled mess, and I am a rich tapestry woven with fine threads made from weeds, effort, and learning.


Explore our new “I AM PTK” recruitment toolkit.

Melinda is the former president of the Greater Northwest Region and the former vice president of fellowship for the Rho Zeta Chapter. She was named a Distinguished Regional Officer in 2017 and a Distinguished Member in 2015. She loves her family and is celebrating her 24th wedding anniversary this year. When she isn’t attending class at Central Washington University, she enjoys hiking, reading, and discovering.

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