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.


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.


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.


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.


Lauren Everett, Fundraising and Communications Coordinator

Lauren Everett joins 826NYC as a VISTA and former content strategist originally from Atlanta, GA. Earning her BFA in Public Relations and currently attaining her Master’s in Health and Social Innovation from the University of Maryland Baltimore, Lauren’s communication background coupled with her interest in the non-profit sector led her to the development and communications role she currently fills.


Photo by Aslan Chalom.


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.


Jesusdaniel Barba, Field Trips Coordinator

Jesusdaniel Barba joined 826NYC in the fall of 2019. Jesusdaniel has experience with arts programming, events, and education outside of traditional lecture formats for the past 5 years ranging from large museum institutions to art residency spaces in national parks. As the field trips coordinator, she is excited to hear the creativity that students from all around NYC have to offer!


Photo by Aslan Chalom. 


Julianna Lee Marino, After School Programs Coordinator

Julianna joined 826NYC as an Afterschool Programs Coordinator in 2021. She is a proud born and raised New Yorker, and has worked in various education roles at the American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Museum, and Friends of Marcy Houses. In her free time, she likes to play fetch with her former-bodega cat and make soap from scratch in the kitchen.


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.



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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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