Melanie Clampitt grew up as Melanie Aminoff in Los Angeles to a father who emigrated from Samarkand with his brothers, sister, and a mother of Polish descent. Her father made his wealth from a successful shirt making business in Hollywood. Melanie attended Beverly Hills High School and following graduation held a limited career as an administrative assistant until after she got married and gave birth to her daughter Lori. In her day, there was less emphasis on education and career for women and more emphasis on marriage and motherhood.
When Lori was little, Melanie inherited a share in her father’s business, which set her on a path of home remodels starting with her own home. Some years later and after divorcing Lori’s father, she found her true calling when it came to investments and property ownership while being a full-time parent to Lori. She invested in local real estate, and she thoroughly enjoyed renovating her homes and being a great landlord to her tenants. Melanie bought three houses on the same block where she lived (each from friends) and another one in the same neighborhood in Bellaire, TX. She upgraded each of those homes with the help of many local contractors for whom she managed and was loyal to them. After many years of being a landlord and having several long-term tenants, Melanie eventually sold each of the houses for a profit.
While she never attended college or pursued a higher degree, Melanie held her own financially and was devoted to raising her daughter. She became a STEM advocate for her by encouraging her STEM interests. When Lori was 13, she wanted to go to Space Camp with a fellow classmate, and Melanie agreed to send her out of state for a week-long camp (and proceeded to send her back two more times in high school). When Melanie saw that they were bringing the Challenger Center (a mini-Space Camp) to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, she quickly told Lori about it and encouraged her to call them and volunteer, which she did and eventually got a paid job there.
When Lori decided to go to Smith, an all-women’s college, where she majored in Physics and Astronomy, Melanie became Smith’s biggest supporter leaving Lori debt-free when she graduated. Now Lori has a successful career in Systems Engineering at Lockheed Martin and has been an active member of SWE since 2014. Lori has endowed this scholarship on her mom’s behalf knowing that her mom would want to continue providing support for other women pursuing STEM degrees.