Lisa Mongelia, executive director of Islamorada’s History of Diving Museum, was honored during a virtual ceremony on June 8 with the Volunteer of the Year Award from KAPOW (Kids and the Power of Work).
KAPOW is a program offered by Learning for Success Inc. that pairs professionals with local schools to help South Florida’s youth develop career skills through mentoring and educational worksite visits.
The “Keeping the Connection” Award was presented to Mongelia, naming her the KAPOW Volunteer of the Year for “Commitment to Excellence in Education.”
“Lisa is an excellent presenter,” said Cutler Ridge Elementary School teacher Maritza Cortada, who nominated Mongelia for the award. “She is always punctual, very knowledgeable and very positive with my students. She comes to class always prepared with a PowerPoint. She explains the lessons extremely well and is very receptive to the students. She asks questions and tries very hard to keep the students involved. I have worked with KAPOW before, and Lisa has definitively been the best volunteer I have ever had.”
With over 30 years of law office management and 40 years as a diving professional, Mongelia began volunteering with the KAPOW program in 2001 while working at the law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. She continued to be involved when she transitioned to the History of Diving Museum, switching law firm-related lesson plans to museum studies and opportunities as a diving professional.
“I am humbled by this award. It has truly been a joy to work with Ms. Cortada and her wonderful students at Cutler Ridge Elementary,” Mongelia said. “Being connected with KAPOW for 20 years, I remain involved because I believe the program is an excellent resource for opening the minds of students to new possibilities. The History of Diving Museum and I would like to thank you for this recognition, together we are all working to build a better community.”