“I was born and raised in Orange County, yet until I became involved with KidWorks, I had no idea that there was so much need just a 15-minute drive away from where I grew up in Irvine.”
With those poignant words, Melissa Ley—KidWorks March “Volunteer of the Month”—describes how her heart was touched to “jump right in to see where I could help improve the lives of children and young adults.”
Melissa is an associate broker for the Net Lease Property Group at CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment company. She specializes in the sale of single-tenant retail properties across the U.S.
Melissa is a valued member of the KidWorks’ Fund Development Committee and is also involved with the planning of the KidWorks Classic Golf Tournament, this year set to tee off on May 3 at Pelican Hills Golf Course.
“Melissa is such a positive force, “ says Lisa Gels, our Manager of Partnerships & Donor Relations. “She’s everything you’d want in a supporter. Melissa is proactive, always willing to help and thoroughly follows through on whatever she offers to do.”
Adds Lisa, “Like all of our great partners, Melissa is a wonderful ambassador for KidWorks, and has helped us cultivate new relationships that range from funding and grant opportunities, to volunteer recruitment and more.”
Melissa first came to hear about KidWorks from Sharon Kline, Executive Vice President of Debt & Structured Finance at CBRE and a recent member of our board of directors. Sharon and Melissa carry on a tradition of many years where CBRE and the Orange County real estate industry have supported KidWorks. "Melissa is a great example of the next generation of leadership at CBRE using their skills and talents to impact the community. She first became involved with KidWorks at their golf tournament and is now an active member of their fund development committee. I invite my colleagues at CBRE to join us in supporting KidWorks" says Sharon Kline, Executive Vice President at CBRE.
For Melissa, KidWorks’ positive impact is clear: “I truly believe that KidWorks is changing the projections of these young students’ lives. KidWorks is providing them with the tools to grow personally and the support to be able to attend college and start professional careers. I have always been passionate about children because they are going to shape the world in the future.”
She adds: “It’s inspiring to hear these children and young adults speak about their big aspirations and what they want to achieve in life, even at a young age. I’m uplifted when I hear the success stories of graduates who had big dreams, and now are achieving them all thanks to KidWorks. When I look at these kids, I see future lawyers, doctors, law enforcement officers and teachers. Their futures are so bright.”
In her spare time, Melissa loves to hang out with her “brilliant dog, Simba.” She also enjoys time with family and friends, as well as attending concerts.
KidWorks is so grateful for the deep commitment Melissa has made to the hundreds of children, youth and families we serve. Please join us in congratulating our very deserving March Volunteer of the Month!
By Glenn Leibowitz, volunteer writer