From a young age, Melissa Coronado was inspired by her parents to give back, and she has used that passion and dedication to grow Arizona MENTOR’s Host Home program in the Tucson area, serving more adults and children in need.
“Melissa inspires me every day,” said Sarah Bree, area director at Arizona MENTOR and one of Melissa’s nominators. “Melissa embodies the values of Arizona MENTOR and it exudes in every interaction that she has with her team members, Mentors and the individuals we serve.”
With 10 years of experience in the human services field, Melissa came to Arizona MENTOR in 2010 as a program coordinator in one of the group home settings. Her ability to provide quality services and her passion for The MENTOR Network’s mission made her a perfect candidate for promotion into the Host Home program as a program services coordinator, and now program director.
Under Melissa’s leadership, the program has experienced next to no turnover and her program remains on a steady growth track with a high regard from funders. Melissa credits the success to her team and the fact that they have created a bilingual program complete with documentation, trainings and recruitment materials in English and Spanish, and a staff who speak both. With 80 percent of her homes preferring Spanish, Melissa and team have created a unique offering that has attracted more Mentors to open their hearts and homes, most through word of mouth.
Melissa’s passion at work flows seamlessly into her personal life. Melissa is the proud mother of two siblings she adopted last year and often offers respite to other children. She is also active with the Foster and Adoptive Council of Tucson and regularly attends their events, including sibling picnics and carnivals for children in foster care.
“You never know what will happen in life,” said Melissa of why she is compelled to give to others. “When you can give it, why not? There is no reason not to.”