Meet Mandy Seiner, 826NYC’s Volunteer and Programs Manager! No stranger to 826NYC, Mandy served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in 2018 before working with the New York City Department of Education. Catch Mandy on the G train serenading herself (and maybe a few passengers) with songs from Mama Mia or tending to her vegetable garden. We’re excited to have Mandy join the team again. Keep reading to learn more about her future goals, words of advice and more!
Q: What piqued your interest in 826NYC and joining the team?
A: I have always admired how 826NYC and its staff exist at the perfect intersection of whimsy and productivity! The organization’s mission really resonates with me, as someone who believes that creative writing is the best way young people can develop their voices and express themselves.
Q: As you know, the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. (a whimsical and magical storefront for 826NYC) has a bevy of superpowers and capes for superheroes and sidekicks abound. What superpowers do you bring to the 826NYC team?
A: I bring the superpower of shape-shifting! Sometimes I’ll be working with volunteers, sometimes I’ll be writing curriculum for programs, and sometimes I’ll be chatting about the last novel I read to anyone in earshot! I enjoy wearing various hats and hopping between responsibilities to support my fellow staff, students, and sidekicks.
Q: Are there any goals in your new role that you’d like to accomplish?
A: I want to help volunteers feel as comfortable as possible in their roles and ensure that all students in our programs gain a sense of ownership over their voice and identity!
Q: How did your time as 826NYC’s Community Engagement Vista and former 826Boston intern prepare you for your current role?
A: Having pre-existing familiarity with 826NYC and the broader 826 network has definitely helped me prepare for this position. I’ve seen how programs run at multiple 826 chapters have had the opportunity to test out varying volunteer recruitment methods. I hope to use this knowledge to inform the planning I do as the Volunteer and Programs Manager!
Q: If you could share a word of advice to an aspiring writer/storyteller, what would it be?
A: The best thing an aspiring writer can do is read! In addition to reading physical books, I subscribe to poetry newsletters, read online literary magazines, and share work with friends. I genuinely try to read 100 times as much content as I write to stay up to date with genres I like and develop my personal style. By reading in such great volume, you really get a sense of what is out there and what can (and has yet to) be done!
Q: How can people stay connected with you in the digital space?