100 Women We Love 2016

Here’s to this year's class of the women who inspire us, give us hope, make us laugh and make us want to get up and dance. 


A volunteer firefighter in her native Houston, Mel Huckabee has led an exciting life. But it’s saving other people’s lives that she finds truly inspiring. “I’ve been there for people on the worst days of their lives, and when I go home, I appreciate everything so much more because of it…Nothing replaces the peace I have in my heart for what I do.” She started out, however, on a somewhat different path. After graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design, majoring in sound design, Huckabee moved to Brooklyn. Under the wing of Murray Hill (“my pops”) and The Pontani Sisters, she became a DJ and worked at recording studios. When the 2008 recession hit, Huckabee switched gears, went to EMT school and worked as medic, while DJing on the side. A few years later, she returned to Texas to join the Houston Fire Department. A broken hand derailed that plan, but she got a job with a company that expedites veterans’ medical claims, and in 2013, joined the volunteer fire department. Being gay hasn’t been a obstacle. “Honestly I’ve always been myself,” she says. “I’ve never had issues getting along with people because of my sexuality, and that is all because I’ve stayed true to who I am.” –SLO

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