Step Up to Excellence mentee wins KELLY award

Michaela, 18, received the KELLY Award at Mass Mentoring Partnership’s Champions of Mentoring Breakfast at Fenway Park in late May. The $20,000 competitive award through MMP provides educational support to mentees who have persevered through tremendous adversity. Michaela will use the funding to pursue her nursing degree at Worcester State University.

[caption id="attachment_1238" align="alignright" width="300"]Rose and Michaela with Sonja Kelly Farmer from the Kelly Family Foundation Rose and Michaela with Sonja Kelly Farmer from the Kelly Family Foundation[/caption]

Michaela was nominated by her mentor Rose. The two have been matched for more than two years through Step Up to Excellence, an organization dedicated to expanding educational opportunities for high school students from low-income homes in Framingham, Fitchburg, Clinton, and Stoughton.

“Michaela has the opportunity to change the pattern of difficult circumstances she’s grown up with,” says Rose. “She can now create a secure future for herself.”

Rose says that her relationship with Michaela has evolved from a formal, school authority figure to a friendly, nurturing one.

“It has been gratifying to watch Michaela transform from a young woman that didn’t even want to give me her opinion on where to go for dinner to a confident person who asks questions, talks freely and shares things with me even if she knows it might be concerning,” says Rose. “She has grown to trust me and we have grown to strengthen each other.”

MMP established the KELLY Award in 2007 in honor of former Board Chair Ted Kelly and his wife Debbie. The award also provides a connection to uAspire (formerly ACCESS), a leading provider of financial aid and counseling.

Congratulations to Michaela and best of luck as she starts college!