From the first moment you meet Michele Funicello, you are swept up in her genuine enthusiasm, warmth, and outgoing personality. These characteristics make her the perfect fit for her dual roles as mentor and advocate for the Saratoga Sponsor A Scholar Program.

“I loved being a mentor! It is such an incredible journey to help facilitate a young person’s growth – someone who has their whole life ahead of them. This program opens doors to opportunities, new experiences, and financial assistance that can make a huge difference in a child’s future.”

Michele’s passion and commitment to the program’s mission and values led her to expand her participation and take on the responsibilities of Mentorship Coordinator. “My strengths are connecting people. I am excited to help create strong, supportive matches between mentor and mentee. The commitment is for four years, but the relationship could last a lifetime!”

Michele encourages anyone interested in mentoring to speak with someone who has been a mentor. Their stories are inspiring. She believes in the invaluable “gifts” that volunteering bestows upon the giver. “In giving, you receive. I have received so much from my relationship with Lupe, my mentee. This strong, vibrant young woman will be a part of my life forever.”

Her decision to wholeheartedly support Saratoga Sponsor A Scholar is based on what she has seen and experienced during her involvement. “This program builds self-confidence and encourages students to be curious, recognize possibilities, and empower them to expand their world. They grow emotionally, learn to trust, give back to their community, experience compassion, and practice good citizenship. I am honored to be a part of Saratoga Sponsor A Scholar.”