We know that you will have many questions prior to applying. Therefore we have compiled a list of FAQ’S to help you make the best decision!

There is not “one” type of high school girl that joins our program. Our team represents a beautiful mix of girls from a wide variety of schools (last year we had 9 schools represented). The activity level of each girl ranges as well. Some girls are committed to honors/AP classes, school clubs, sports, and hold part time jobs. Some girls choose the Genuine Team as their one and only commitment. No matter who you are, there is a place for you on this team if you are Open Minded, Genuinely Kind, and have a Desire to Grow into the person you were meant to become!  

We are excited that you are considering the Genuine Team experience for your freshmen + Sophomore year!


After years of photographing high school senior portraits, Melissa recognized the need for a teen mentorship program in her community. Through her life experiences and education she created the life skills and community service based program. Her passion is to encourage young women to live a life of authenticity; unwavering in their faith, morals, and values. Melissa hopes to equip them with necessary life skills to have independent success after they leave home. She holds an Elementary Education Degree from UNCG. She taught for 6 years in Cabarrus & Guilford County. Melissa designed the lesson plans while also working alongside health professionals, college grads, as well as implementing knowledge gained from her own life experiences. Every year the classes are updated & improved upon with new information and experiences. They are also adjusted to fit our ever changing society. The Genuine Team started in 2013 and has been a successful & thriving education program since 2016. 

How was this unique program created? 

Colleges view this program as a very unique and exciting program. The Genuine Team is not offered anywhere else in the world, which makes it a stand out on any application. Colleges view girls who have participated in this program as one who will contribute to and benefit the overall culture at their university. All team members who have good attendance and an excellent participation record will receive a detailed letter of recommendation for College and Scholarships from Melissa. 

How does this benefit my daughter when applying to college? 

Our community service work requires anywhere from 2-5 hours/month of work outside of classes depending on the role you choose. 

We meet at the team studio home located in the West Ave District in Kannapolis, NC

Girls who live anywhere from 5 miles to 45 miles drive to be on this team. There is no mileage/city exclusion. 

We have a Genuine Team Junior Varsity, which is for Freshmen + Sophomores. We also have Genuine Team Varsity which is for Juniors + Seniors. We have required meetings 1-2 times per month. We typically meet Sunday afternoons/evenings. We aim to lighten the course load during exam weeks, college application times, and holidays. We plan monthly social hours for the team to get to know each other better outside of classes. 

What is the time commitment? 

- A few designated dinners are provided
- Team Tshirt
- Themed Team Photo Shoots
- A letter of recommendation from Melissa 
- Endless support, empowerment, encouragement, leadership, education, laughter, direction, team spirit, good music, talks over Chick Fil A nugget trays, everlasting friendships, all in the most comfortable and cool studio to hang out in. 

- All classes that are held each month; both required classes and the optional classes (25+)
- Our comfy judgement free home space called "The Studio" 
- The Genuine Sister mentorship program [mentoring middle school girls]
- Original Community Service projects; designed and led by the team
- Guest teacher fees
- Snacks, Treats, and Drinks during classes

What is included in this investment?

We offer several different packages in a variety of price ranges. You can join the program for only $129 per month. You can add on senior portrait sessions, albums, digital images, etc to the program package at an exclusive program discount. These additional prices are discussed at the information meeting held after the application period due to their customizable nature. By applying and being accepted into the program, you are committing to a full season. 

How can I invest in this program for my daughter? 

Yes OF COURSE! In fact, the majority of Genuine Team girls have their portraits taken by Melissa. Our goal is to provide affordable portraits for all high school girls. We offer three different packages. This information is shared at the information meetings. As a Genuine Team member you receive an exclusive senior portrait discount as well as priority for choosing a date. 

Can we have Senior Portraits taken with Melissa? 

Each year there are 3 excused absences. As you have read in the introduction, we have girls on the team who are committed to many other activities. The attendance policy is easy to abide by if you can maintain a healthy task management. We expect good communication and effort. We offer opportunities to make up absences. The attendance policy is addressed in detail at the information meetings in January.

What is your attendance policy? 

We take monthly payments throughout the course of the program. We offer online payment options as well as cash in hand. Our goal is to make the payment process as easy as possible for all families. Please discuss with us any unique circumstances you wish for us to consider. 

What are my payment options? 

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