This year has allowed 826NYC to transform in ways we couldn’t imagine. These transformative moments wouldn’t be possible without awesome volunteers like Azka Anwar, November’s volunteer of the month! Thanks to Azka, we’ve transformed our approach to creative writing, volunteerism, and flexing our superpowers. Learn more about Azka’s time with 826NYC’s young authors, their superpowers, and adventures in Central Park!
1. How did you first get involved with 826NYC, and why did you decide to volunteer?
One of my professors at The New School suggested I look into 826NYC earlier this year. I attended an orientation and was sold pretty immediately– it was such a supportive, exciting atmosphere. Then the pandemic happened, and I felt like I could really use a few hours a week of making up elaborate fictional worlds with a bunch of kids. So far, it’s been a dream.
2. What’s your favorite part of 826NYC? The children! They’re delightfully smart, and I learn so much from them (like how sometimes it rains diamonds on Neptune). Watching them write their stories reminds me of why I started writing in the first place; I can always use that reminder.
3. What do you do when you’re not at 826NYC? I am a graduate student in Creative Writing at The New School, so when I’m not at 826NYC, I’m usually working on my own assignments. But I also spend plenty of time getting lost in the city (I’m a terrible navigator) and looking for cardinals in Central Park.
4. What advice would you give a new volunteer? It’s okay to be nervous, but you’ll quickly discover that there’s not much to be nervous about. Enjoy watching the kids’ wonderful imaginations at work, and stay open to things veering slightly off course every now and then- they often end up being much more fun that way.
5. What are your superpowers? My eye for detail. And my ability to laugh at myself (often uproariously).
Want to connect with Azka in the digital space? You can follow them on Instagram @azkiwazki and LinkedIn! Looking for ways to join the 826NYC community, and help young authors write the futures forward, learn more about volunteer opportunities HERE.