We are excited to announce Jessica Mayer-Jones as the August Volunteer of the Month! Jessica joined us as soon as she moved from San Francisco and has been an amazing addition to our volunteer team. Find out her joining the 826 community has helped learn new things as well as expound on her superpower!
1. How did you first get involved with 826NYC and why did you decide to volunteer?
I got involved with 826 when I lived in San Francisco, I was impressed with the ethos of the organization and the attitude of everyone involved. When I moved to NYC I contacted the Park Slope branch and started within a month. Volunteering at 826 is very flexible which has always worked with my schedule. In addition, I’ve always felt very appreciated and that my voice and opinions are heard. Feeling valued as a volunteer is a huge incentive for trying out all the programs on offer.
2. What’s your favorite part of 826NYC?
My favorite parts of being involved in 826NYC are the volunteers and the students I get to work with. Each session is a unique experience and you never know where you’ll end up. The way 826 nurtures creativity and encourages everyone to use their imagination is so refreshing. I also love that I’m constantly learning new things, especially from the kids!
3. What do you do when you’re not at 826NYC?
I’m very new to NYC and most of my spare time is taken up exploring the city. I’m a chef in my professional life, so I do a lot of cooking and even more eating. One of my favorite things to do is hunting out cool food stores and markets, buying all sorts of ingredients and bringing them home to experiment with.
4. What advice would you give a new volunteer?
Trying out a variety of programs was really rewarding during my first few months with 826. There’s a lot of variation and I developed new skills by stepping outside my comfort zone. When my schedule allows, I really enjoy working with the same students over a longer period of time and getting to see their projects come to fruition. I’d also recommend signing up for the social aspects of 826 volunteer life as there’s an awesome network of people and it’s a great community to be a part of.
5. What are your superpowers?
My ability to talk, about anything, non-stop…