40 Under 40 Winner Finds Herself Unemployed

November 20, 2013 Updated Nov 20, 2013 at 6:37 PM EDT

By Elizabeth Carey

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November 20, 2013 Updated Nov 20, 2013 at 6:37 PM EDT

Nothing like winning an award, just weeks after losing your job. That's just what happened to Melodie Baker.

Baker was the assistant director at Bethel Head Start, until her position was eliminated by the federal government during the sequester last month.

melodie found herself unemployed as she was set to receive a Business First 40 Under 40 award. But this advocate for education is still determined to make a difference in the community.

She is working on several projects in Buffalo to help educate at-risk youth, including plans to open a new Charter School for Inquiry in the year 2015. "It's going to add a lot of the resources that the Buffalo kids, the children who live in city of Buffalo, that they need and may not have available to them," she said. "We're using the STEM approach: science, technology, engineering and math.

Baker says planners are still searching for a site for the school.

She is also working on plans to open a new early childhood education center in Buffalo next year, called First Step Kids.

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