KidWorks Volunteers of the Year

KidWorks is blessed to have 936 volunteers serve each year at our four centers contributing an impressive 14,936 hours of service. Volunteers serve in our classrooms, help with graphics and blog writing and even help us raise money. As part of National Volunteer Week, we want to recognize two outstanding volunteers at KidWorks who were named co-volunteers of the year because of their outstanding service.

Program Volunteer of the Year - Tian-Keng Go:
Mr. Keng has always been on the lookout for ways to help our students since he first became a volunteer in 2014.“ You can find him at KidWorks Dan Donahue center three to four times a week helping the students with homework. Twins Arlet and Ailyn say, “Mr. Keng helps us with our homework and he really made us feel welcome at KidWorks when we started in the middle of this year’s school term.”


During one of his tutoring sessions earlier  this year, Keng saw that we were running low on the pencils the kids use to complete their homework,” recalls Rachel Cervantes, Program Leader at our Dan Donahue Center.  “The next week he brought me a large box, explaining that he’d thought about the students while he was shopping at Costco.  He has such a big heart for what we do.”

Rachel Cervantes, Program Leader at KidWorks Dan Donahue Center says that Keng has exactly the right approach to foster academic achievement.

“He has a quiet spirit that really shines through in the classroom,” she says.  “He is gentle and really knows how to converse with the quietest and shyest students.  Keng works at the students’ pace, not his own.”

Development Volunteer of the Year - Melissa Ley:
Melissa is one of KidWorks’ most passionate volunteers.  Her super power is building relationships which have resulted in new funding, volunteers and program partners.  Her passion for KidWorks is infectious and her favorite phrase is “how can I help?”

“Melissa is such a positive force” says Lisa Gels, KidWorks Associate Development Director.  “She’s everything you’d want in a volunteer.  Melissa is proactive, always willing to help and thoroughly follows through on whatever she offers to do.”


Melissa first came to KidWorks through her colleague, Sharon Kline, Executive Vice President of Debt & Structured Finance at CBRE and former KidWorks board member. They worked together on the KidWorks Golf Classic Committee securing event sponsorships and helping with tournament logistics.   Soon after, Melissa joined the Fund Development Committee, where she has served the past two years. As she became more involved with KidWorks, the more she fell in love with the students and mission.   More recently, Melissa also organized a 3rd party fundraiser for KidWorks at Kendra Scott at Fashion Island in Newport Beach.

Both our outstanding volunteers will be honored at OneOC’s 2019 Spirit of Volunteerism luncheon in late April.