HFAR Learning Experts
Meet the experts who lead our HFAR Learning Program sessions, teaching you various ways to help eliminate the financial impact when living with or caring for someone with a disability.
mission-oriented businesses across the world. Her movement to make "Debt Freedom the New Norm and Wealth Building the Natural Nature of Habit" has pushed Sophia into her purpose of sharing the endless possibilities of financial transformation.
After single-handedly paying off over $83K of debt in 21 months while being a caregiver, Sophia launched her financial education company, SMASH Debt®, to help families strategize on how to get out of debt, start building wealth, and become leaders in their financial house. She has many success stories with her clients who have overcome severe anxiety around their finances, paid off 5-figure debts in record time, drastically improved their credit score from 619 to 800, and started building a financial cushion they never thought could be possible.
Sophia has spoken on stages at wealth empowerment conferences with heavy influencers such as Lisa Nichols, Dr. George Fraser, Constance Carter, Sally-Ann Roberts, Olympian Danielle Scott-Arruda, and more. She is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI), member of the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE), and a member of the Personal Finance Speakers Association. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, an MBA in Financial Management, and has over 14 years of experience in the accounting field. To date, Sophia has DEMOLISHED over $260K of debt in less than five years while being a caregiver and managing two households.
Sophia Melonē is a natural giver at heart and loves to SERVE and TEACH. But what brings her the most joy is seeing the mindset shift occur in her students as she educates them to leap toward their financial prosperity. She is a FINANCIAL POWERHOUSE who is excited and passionate about teaching all classes of human kind to spend more fiscally responsibly, begin building wealth in the most effective manner possible, and become financially free for the sustainability of their legacy. Sophia Melonē has the blueprint to a healthy financial relationship and serves families with the strategy and accountability they need to leave the financial footprint they desire and that their legacy deserves.
THE FORMAL: I am a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) and a PhD student in the Counselor Education Department at the University of Central Florida. I earned a Master's degree in Marriage, Couples and Family Therapy and a certificate in Clinical Mental Health from Stetson University. I also earned a Masters in Transformative Leadership and a Bachelor's degree in Music from Bethune-Cookman University. I have over 12 years of Higher Education experience both as faculty and administration and am passionate about helping students in transition.
Prior to staring Road to Thrive, my clinical practice has been primarily in not-for-profit community agencies that provide counseling services for low socioeconomic families in the Central Florida area, many of whom are of African American or Hispanic origin, first-generation Americans or current immigrant families. I have also worked with undergraduate students at the Stetson counseling center and focused on first generation college students, first generation American students, minority students and international students. I was a 2019-2020 fellow of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) where I focused on learning how to partner with my country of origin, and other underserved countries to begin to prepare others to meet the mental health needs of their communities. Currently, I serve as the graduate student representative for the Florida Counseling Association (FCA), connecting graduate students state wide to pressing issues, professional development opportunities and resources.
THE FACTS: All clients are welcome! If we find that I am not a good fit, or the best person to handle your needs, I am happy to assist you in finding where you need to be. My practice and research interests include mental health needs for women and underserved people groups. I am especially able to help clients, who are in any kind of major transition. I love helping you find ways to cope and feel stable even when the things around you aren't. I use person-centered and solution-focused practices that empower clients to move from 'survive to thrive', whatever that means to them. I am a Registered Intern with the State of Florida and you can read more about my license number and supervisor information below.
THE FUN: I am originally from Freeport, Grand-Bahama and I came to the US for college as an undergraduate. My favorite foods all have something to do with conch, curry and coconut. I have many passions and my education reflects that. I enjoy reading, writing, singing and spending time with my family. I love a good discussion and I can be pretty competitive when it comes to games. Also, I LOVE BEING A THERAPIST. I fully believe in the therapeutic process and I love to hold hope for my clients until they can hope for themselves. I want you to bring all of who you are to each session and it shows. Though my time with you may not be forever, my aim is for its impact to last a lifetime.
Again, I'm happy you're here. I look forward to taking this journey with you!
Registered Intern #: IMH20072
Clinical Supervisor: Morgan Perun
Supervisor License #: MH13830
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Certificate: Gottman Institute / Gottman (1): Couple's Counseling
Certificate: Prepare/Enrich Certified Facilitator (Pre-Marital/Marital Counseling) / 1323728