Being the daughter of an immigrant family in Canada, Melissa Grelo knew the meaning of true resilience. As a young child, she wanted an identity; she didn’t want to be known as the girl who was half Filipino and half Portuguese.
Her hard-working parents wanted to make ends meet; they quickly found jobs that enabled them to earn a decent living. Juggling several jobs at a time, her parents combined their wages and got a hefty mortgage to purchase a 20-acre farm in Caledon, Ontario.
Melissa left home when she was in her mid-twenties. Armed with robust work ethic strategies she learned from living on a farm, she excelled in high school and pursued a degree in psychology and French.
Soon afterwards, Melissa made the leap from a bachelor’s degree to obtaining a diploma in Journalism, which was a long-held passion for her. Since then, the rest is history; she landed her first job even before completing her degree.
On the Big Screen
After several years of hosting Toronto’s number one morning breakfast show, CP 24, Melissa pitched an idea to CTV’s executives, who were impressed by her accomplishments. Since August 2016, she has been a co-host of CTV’s national morning show, Your Morning, and moderator of The Social, a Canadian daytime talk show that airs on weekday afternoons on CTV.
With a career spanning more than a decade, Melissa was proud of her perseverance and tenacity; after all, a job in broadcasting entails daily challenges. As a news reporter and an anchor, her career took her to many places she never even imagined going to. She covered the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the US and co-hosted the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010, among many other events.
Melissa also rubbed shoulders with some big names in Hollywood. She interviewed several celebrities and politicians, with a growing list of names, including personalities like Prince Harry, Justin Trudeau, Lupita Nyongo, David Oyelowo, and Ryan Reynolds, among many others.
Living the Dream
Melissa once said that the proudest moment in her life was when her parents told her that they didn’t have to worry about her anymore. She still thinks that’s the best compliment she ever received from them. After all, the fruits of their labour haven’t been wasted. They worked hard to give their children an education, sacrificing much to help them attain the Canadian dream.
With so many challenges in life, Melissa had several pinch-me moments. In 2008, Melissa married her husband, Ryan Gaggi. They met after an unsuccessful set-up at a Toronto bar. It wasn’t love at first sight, and there was zero chemistry initially. A year later, they bumped into each other at a different Toronto club, and the sparks began to immediately fly.
In 2014, Melissa and Ryan welcomed a baby girl named Marquessa who has been a rising star on social media channels since the moment of birth. Before even being a month old, Marquessa was already treated like a social media star; she has been tweeted and retweeted on Twitter, starred in videos on Instagram, and liked by thousands on Facebook before making her first appearance on national television.
A Wonderful Life
Since the birth of her daughter, who is nine years old now, Melissa hasn’t given up on her career or fitness regimen. The Canadian TV host still surprises her fans with amazing workout videos. Her commitment to staying in shape amazes her fans and followers on social media platforms; and is often met with a mix of praise and elation.
With a busy work schedule, things are still bright and cheerful at home, just as they are at work for Melissa. Since she started on The Social in 2013, Melissa says that she hasn’t ever woken up one day without feeling that she did not want to go to work.
When she is at home, Melissa is not only caught up with juggling a career and family life, but she is also endeavouring to keep her soul fulfilled with friends and family while having as much fun as she possibly can!
David Messiha | Staff Writer