Spring is in the air, and our volunteers are blooming with pride! April’s volunteer of the month, Lauren Stefaniak, shares her volunteer experience, copious amount of superpowers, and sage advice for volunteers near and far.
How did you first get involved with 826NYC, and why did you decide to volunteer? I’d actually been supporting 826NYC for a few years before joining as a volunteer in August 2019. The organization was my social volleyball team’s charity, so on occasion, our team won the league a donation was made on our behalf. It wasn’t until I moved to Park Slope and walked past the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. that I decided to apply as a volunteer. I sorely missed my previous life s a catalog proofreader and volunteer English tutor, and the opportunity to edit with 826NYC perfectly filled that void.
What is your favorite part of 826NYC? I love the creative outlet 826NYC’s programs provide students. Their stories are so unique and powerful – most make me laugh, some make me cry, all make me feel something. I’m so grateful to be part of the process that allows others to experience what I feel when editing such incredible stories.
What do you do when you’re not at 826NYC? Professionally, I’m the Director of Creative Operations for Victoria’s Secret. Personally, I’m renovating a house that has been in my family for generations with my partner and rescue dog. We work; he eats treats.
What advice would you give a new volunteer? Don’t let imposter syndrome prevent you from believing you’re important to the process. Even if you’re volunteering outside your industry (like me), your skills are valuable, and you’re making an impact.
What are your superpowers? I have a very heightened sense of sight, hearing, and smell, so it’s truly hard to get anything past me!
You can find Lauren on LinkedIn! Check out our latest chapbook, How to Feel Happy for Other People, one of the many student publications Lauren helped proofread. Learn more about volunteer opportunities and other ways to support hundreds of brilliant young authors across NYC!