CIS-Charlotte Volunteer Coordinator Angela Yoo wrote the following article to celebrate Mike Munao's 25th Anniversary as a CIS volunteer. The CIS National office also featured the article on its "Beyond the Classroom" blog on its website. Congratulations, Mike, and THANK YOU for giving so much of your time to our students over the years!
In this season of gratitude, Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg is thankful for the dedication and commitment of Mike Munao, who has recently celebrated his 25th anniversary as a volunteer! Mike began as a volunteer tutor and was one of our first volunteers in Charlotte. Over the years he has tutored and mentored more than 30 different students at two schools, giving over 1,000 volunteer hours. Mike also served as a board member of the local affiliate from 1992 to 1993.
When I asked what Mike thought made him successful as a volunteer, he said, “My philosophy of tutoring is three-fold: to help my students understand the material required for them to advance, to provide examples in real life as to how this newly acquired information will apply, and to make sure they have a positive role model in life.”
Of course, it also doesn’t hurt when Mike drives to school in a sleek, refurbished classic car! As a treat, the students who express an interest in auto mechanics get the opportunity to share in Mike’s hobby of restoring vintage cars. He makes sure to bring along automotive textbooks to connect the concept of math to the automotive industry.
Another testament to Mike’s passion for service is the original Communities In Schools volunteer assignment sheet from October 16, 1986, which he has kept all these years as a memento. To Mike, this assignment sheet represents the start of his making a difference in the lives of children. Several years ago, the student from that first tutoring assignment contacted Mike to thank him for the help he was given years ago. The student shared that Mike had provided crucial support when he was ready to give up. The young man graduated and is now 29, married and employed as a diesel mechanic.
According to Cynthia Marshall, Communities In Schools of Charlotte- Mecklenburg’s first executive director, “Mike lives and believes in the capacity of each person to develop his or her unique potential.”
As volunteers always are, Mike is humble. He credits local community resources for his success. “This has been a very fulfilling and rewarding experience for me over the past several years, and I thank my job, Communities In Schools and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for providing me with the opportunity.”
Thank you, Mike! Happy 25th Anniversary!