Our mission is to encourage the exploration of endless possibility through the power of writing. To empower students with the skills to write their own paths forward, undefined by circumstance. To support new and exciting approaches to writing and inspire student engagement. And to 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.


Director of Education

Alana Benoit is a writer and poet with extensive experience in nonprofit management, arts education, and youth development. She has worked with prominent cultural arts institutions such as the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Brooklyn Children’s Museum and The Harlem School of the Arts. Alana holds a BA from Union College and MA from the English University of York. She is currently working on her MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) at Brooklyn College.

Photo by Aslan Chalom


David Rosenstein, Development Manager

David Rosenstein joined 826NYC in September 2017 and brings over 7 years of development experience to his role. Prior to joining the organization, he worked as the Manager of Development and Operations at generationOn, the youth service division of Points of Light, and as the Development Coordinator at AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps. In another life, David would have been the music director at a Low Power FM alternative radio station.

Photo by Aslan Chalom.


Aarti Monteiro, Writers' Room Coordinator

Aarti Monteiro comes to 826NYC with a background in writing and education. Before joining the team, she taught at an extended learning time program at a Brooklyn middle school and coordinated a writing and mentoring program. She has an MFA in Fiction from Rutgers University-Newark, and has received writing fellowships from VCCA and VONA/Voices. As the Writers’ Room Coordinator, she develops writing projects to support what students at PS/MS 7 are learning in school.

Photo by Aslan Chalom.


Nico Garbaccio, Field Trips Coordinator

Nico Garbaccio has been part of the 826NYC community since 2014, originally as volunteer and an intern, and then joining the staff in August 2016. He worked as a sportswriter and as a middle school English teacher before finding his niche in nonprofit education. He considers himself to be just a big kid with facial hair, which is his main superpower for leading a group of rowdy third graders on a storytelling adventure. Aside from helping to oversee our always-lively field trips program, Nico manages the booking and hosting of birthday parties and community events in our space.


Liz Levine, Volunteer & Programs Manager

Liz joined 826NYC in August 2014 after graduating with a BA in Writing and Politics. She has served as a tutor and administrator of her college writing center, assisted teachers at local public schools, and been a Teaching Assistant to several undergraduate writing classes. In addition to running the volunteer program and the Park Slope tutoring location for 826NYC, she also harbors dreams of opening her own literature-themed sandwich shop.

Photo by Morrigan McCarthy.


Brancey Mora, After-School Tutoring Programs Coordinator

Brancey Mora first joined 826NYC in 2015 as a volunteer doing field trips and after-school tutoring. Before joining the team in August 2016, she worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA and the Whitney Museum, where she assisted with group visits and programming. Brancey loves reading, drawing, and the strange and unusual. While not running the Williamsburg tutoring location for 826NYC, she also solves mundane crimes and investigates theories of time travel via the G train.

Photo by Aslan Chalom.


Development and Marketing Strategist

Antoinette Gregg comes to 826NYC having spend the past decade in nonprofit. Her experience comes from development and student advocacy. She has worked in development and fundraising in organizations like the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) as a Canvass Director and Program Coordinator as well as Everytown for Gun Safety as Development Assistant. Her knowledge runs the gamut from door-to-door to grant writing to donor database management. When she isn’t raising funds and awareness she is freelance-writing creative nonfiction, cooking and going to karaoke.

Photo by Aslan Chalom


Volunteer Coordinator

Mandy Seiner has been a part of the 826 community since 2016, when she joined 826 Boston as a Youth Programs intern. She grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the ketchup capital of the world, and earned her BFA in Poetry at Emerson College in Boston. Prior to joining 826, she worked as a corps member with the Jumpstart program and a teacher with the Institute of Reading Development. When she’s not mobilizing volunteers, you can find her cooking brussel sprouts or humming along to the Mamma Mia soundtrack on the J train.

Photo by Aslan Chalom


Field Trip and Paid Programming Coordinator

Lily Zaballos first encountered 826 as an intern at 826Valencia as a teen. She joined the 826NYC community as a volunteer in early 2017. She has worked with a variety of youth arts education and social justice organizations, trying her hand at teaching everything from dance and theater to poetry and rock music. A recent graduate of NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, she is a dancer, musician, and writer dedicated to using art to challenge systems of power and transform education. As coordinator she can be found leading field trips in the Secret Library and organizing birthday parties and space rentals.

Photo by Aslan Chalom



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We are currently recruiting for interns for the Fall 2018 semester! Please inquire within.

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