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 comes to 826NYC with 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 coordinated a writing and mentoring program. She has an MFA in Fiction from Rutgers University-Newark. Outside of 826NYC, she spends her time reading and writing. The former Writers’ Room Coordinator, she now oversees the Volunteer and Programs teams.

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.


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.


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


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


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



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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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