Where did your love for reading and writing start? A question we often find ourselves pondering here at 826NYC, yet the answer isn’t always cut and dry! Mokutima Ekong, March’s volunteer of the month, may be able to relate. Luckily, thanks to her fourth-grade teacher, she found 826NYC, and our young authors couldn’t be happier! Keep reading to learn more about Mokutima’s time as a volunteer in Write After School and her superpowers.
1. How did you first get involved with 826NYC, and why did you decide to volunteer?
My fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Turner, championed reading and writing. I wasn’t a huge reader, but her class transformed my attitude. I wanted to do the same for someone else, so I joined 826NYC. I came across 826 while researching nonprofits for an internship, and 826’s mission resonated with me. I started as a virtual volunteer in the fall of 2020. Since then, I’ve been working with elementary school students in the Write After School program.
2. What’s your favorite part of 826NYC?
I love learning from the students, staff members, and volunteers. I enjoy hearing the students develop their ideas and share their stories. The students emanate so much confidence and joy; they inspire me to be curious and brave. I also appreciate my Write After School squad: Corey, Hannah, Ling, and Nico. I admire how the staff members and volunteers modulate their voices to bring stories to life. I am so grateful for the 826NYC community, especially now.
3. What do you do when you’re not at 826NYC?
Lots of homework! I’m finishing up my last semester of college. I’m studying business and creative writing. When I’m not doing homework, I love writing short stories and songs.
4. What advice would you give a new volunteer?
Find out what excites students. Listen to their interests and encourage them to write about topics that excite them.
5. What are your superpowers?
Storytelling and listening!
Keep up with Mokutima on Facebook @MoEkong and LinkedIn @Mokutima Ekong! Check our website for upcoming volunteer opportunities and other ways to get involved with 826NYC.