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.


Aarti Monteiro, Director of Education

Aarti Monteiro joined 826NYC in September 2017 and has a background in creative writing and education. Before joining the team, she taught at an extended learning time program at a Brooklyn middle school and managed a writing and mentoring program. She has an MFA in Fiction from Rutgers University-Newark and is currently working on a collection of stories. Formerly managing the East Harlem Writers’ Room, she now oversees 826NYC’s programs.

Photo by Aslan Chalom.


Nico Garbaccio, Programs & Volunteer Manager

Nico Garbaccio has been a part of the 826NYC community for over 5 years as a volunteer, an intern, and most recently, running the always-lively field trips program. As the Programs & Volunteer Manager, he heads up the volunteer department and oversees 826NYC’s after school programs in Park Slope and Williamsburg. Talk to him about chain restaurants or the Loch Ness Monster.

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.


Chris Eckert, Store 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.


Summer Medina, Community Engagement Strategist

Summer Medina joined 826NYC through AmeriCorps VISTA. 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. 


Thais Vitorelli, Programs Coordinator

Thais Vitorelli first joined 826NYC as a field trips program volunteer then became a part of the team in 2020 as one of the After-School Programs Coordinators. She is also a filmmaker and a writer, specializing in children’s and young adult literature. A Gryffindor with Hufflepuff rising, Thais’ hobbies include partner dancing, knitting, rock climbing and finding an appropriate The Office quote for every real-life situation.

Photo by Aslan Chalom.


Corey Ruzicano, Programs Coordinator

Corey Ruzicano joined the 826NYC team in 2020 as the Park Slope After-School Programs Coordinator after many years of fan-girling over the 826Valencia center in her hometown of San Francisco. Whether writing, producing, teaching or riding the subway she seeks to empower voices and stories that encourage empathy.

Photo by Aslan Chalom.


Sonya Moore, Store Associate

Sonya Moore joined 826NYC as a store clerk in 2016 after many years as a volunteer in both the education programs and a community ambassador. She now works with BSSCo.’s community ambassadors to help them promote the work of 826NYC and the importance of storytelling in students’ lives. With a background in journalism and content production and management, her current secret identity outside of the store is working as a translator and writer in different mediums.


Photo by Aslan Chalom.



View more


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.

View more

Renting Our Space