Our mission is to encourage the exploration of endless possibilities through the power of writing. Undefined by circumstance, our students build the skills to boldly write their own paths forward. We support new and exciting approaches to writing and inspire student engagement. And we foster generations of creative writers and thinkers, who together will define a better future.


Naomi Solomon

Naomi Solomon, Director of Education

Naomi Solomon joined the 826NYC team as Director of Education in December 2020, after several years of intermittent workshop volunteering and cape-making.  She has been working in NYC youth development organizations for the past 10 years, including roles at Mouse, Girls Write Now, Global Kids, and Posse New York. Naomi holds a BA in Literature and an MA in Youth Studies, and is passionate about public education, youth leadership, good books, and Oxford commas.

Mandy Seiner

Volunteer and Programs Manager

Mandy Seiner first joined the 826NYC staff in 2018 as an Americorps VISTA and was thrilled to rejoin in 2021 as the Volunteer and Programs Manager after spending time working for the NYC Department of Education. She earned her BFA in Poetry at Emerson College in Boston and is currently working toward her Masters in Educational Psychology from Hunter College. In her spare time, you can find her tending to her vegetable garden and humming along to the Mamma Mia soundtrack on the G train.


Summer Medina, Volunteer and Programs Coordinator

Summer Medina joined 826NYC through AmeriCorps VISTA, and served as 826NYC’s Community Engagement Strategist for two years before transitioning to her current role as Volunteer & Programs Coordinator. She’s worked in non-profit and education over the last decade, from teaching theater at her local YMCA to teaching creative writing at Stony Brook University. She received her BA at the City University of Queens College in English and Media Studies in 2016, where she also co-founded a non-profit theater group, Lion’s Hope Productions, which raised money for local charities from their performances. She recently earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Stony Brook University. She is currently working on two novels.


Photo by Aslan Chalom.


Amani Nephew, Programs Coordinator

Amani joined the team at 826NYC as the Program Coordinator in August 2022. After relocating from South Florida in 2017, she has been working for the non-profit CAMBA for the past 7 years. Most recently, she was the Internship Developer for the Learning to Work Program at Brooklyn Bridge Academy High School. She holds a BA in English from Florida International University. With a love of drawing and art design, she plans to go back to school for graphic design and hopefully step into animation. In her free time you can find her diving into anything arts and crafts related, or demolishing the stage with her Karaoke skills.


Joshua Mandelbaum, Executive Director

Joshua Mandelbaum, Executive Director, joined 826NYC in July 2013. He has over 16 years of nonprofit experience, including serving as Advertising Director of Poets & Writers and Executive Director of Words without Borders. In addition, Joshua served as editor and publisher of the literary magazine Ballyhoo Stories.

Photo by Aslan Chalom.

Janna Cisterino

Janna Cisterino, Development and Communications Manager

Janna joined 826NYC as Development and Communications Manager in September 2021. She’s worked in fundraising for nonprofit organizations serving low-income communities in NYC for over eight years. In her free time, you might find her curled up with a good book or shooting a game of pool.


Chris Eckert, Store and Operations Manager

Chris joined 826NYC as Store Manager in 2016, after a decade of volunteering in the store, in the education programs, and in the capacity of someone who was willing to blow up 200 balloons or get hit in the head with a steel chair for a student’s film. When he is not managing BSSCo. he tutors, writes, and strives to straddle the fine line between curating and hoarding regarding a personal library. Those are his actual glasses.

Photo by Aslan Chalom.

Enrico Denard

Enrico Denard, Store Associate

Enrico Denard is an energetic student studying journalism and communications at CUNY Brooklyn College. Enrico is a very curious person and he asks tons of questions. He is passionate about news and information, and wants to become a trustworthy source in mass media someday. For now, his accomplishments include— restricting to one cup of joe a day and understanding when to end a conversation.

Stella Raffle-Wax

Stella Raffle-Wax, Store Associate

Stella Raffle-Wax is a Brooklyn native who, after growing up going to the Superhero Supply Store and volunteering with 826NYC over the 2020 school year, has joined the 826NYC staff as a Store Associate. She holds a BA in Politics & Human Rights from Marymount Manhattan College, and has previously worked in Youth Development as a staff member at URJ Crane Lake Camp. She’s eaten the Ben & Jerry’s Vermonster twice, and in her spare time, you’ll find her tending to her farm in Stardew Valley, or adventuring as a gnome bard in her Dungeons & Dragons campaign.

    Naomi Solomon Mandy Seiner Janna Cisterino Enrico Denard Stella Raffle-Wax


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We are not currently recruiting interns. If you have interest in joining us in a volunteer capacity, please visit the volunteer page of our website or email volunteer@826nyc.org.

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Our Annual Report