While many models gain widespread recognition for their work in the fashion world, jet setting around the globe to perform in photoshoots, runways and major ad campaigns, far and few between do they actually leverage this platform and fame for good. Not so for model Marilyn Melo, whose undeniably gorgeous looks have earned her more than 824,000 followers on Instagram, as the Dominican beauty utilizes her huge reach for a cause close to her heart with her Melo Rodriguez Foundation.

Founded in tandem with her family, Melo’s organization looks to aid economically-challenged children and their families living in third world countries, providing them with opportunities to succeed and build a better future. Between raising funds and providing scholarships for kids in need of education, offering personal mentorship programs and spearheading volunteer efforts, the Melo Rodriguez Foundation has touched the lives of underprivileged families across the map, with a particular focus on Melo’s own native Dominican Republic.

“With this venture, we believe that we can be a stepping stone for many young individuals looking to aspire and get the education that they deserve with great scholarship programs,” said Melo. “After all, there is nothing more beautiful than learning, developing and making a better version of yourself. For my brothers and sisters in the Dominican Republic, this may be the last chance they get to a better and brighter future.”

Melo likewise raises money for the cause through her online thrift store, The Hand Me Dwn, with all proceeds benefiting the Melo Rodriguez foundation. Filled with Melo’s own trendy wardrobe staples, Melo’s large and loyal fanbase is now able to contribute to her charity while simultaneously emulating their favorite Instagram star’s personal style.

While still keeping focus on her flourishing modeling career, Melo’s charitable pursuits have made all the difference for struggling families throughout the globe, making the world a better place one philanthropic initiative at a time.

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