We’re excited to introduce you to our November Volunteer of the Month, Shelly Scott! Shelly started volunteering with us last year by supporting visiting classes in Write Together, and supporting our youngest students in Write After School. Learn more about Shelly by reading her interview below:
826NYC: How did you first get involved with 826NYC and why did you decide to volunteer?
Shelly: I live just a few blocks away from 826NYC on 5th Avenue and stopped in to buy some stocking stuffers a couple years ago before Christmas. I asked about your programs and volunteer opportunities and someone (Naomi, I think) took my email address to hook me up with the Superpowers-that-Be.
826NYC: What’s your favorite part of 826NYC?
Shelly: My favorite part of 826NYC is, of course, the kids. This continues to surprise me since my life’s plan was not to be an educator but I found myself drawn to working with young children and families and once I retired I really missed it.
826NYC: What do you enjoy most about Write Together?
Shelly: I enjoy developing relationships with children and figuring out how to give them space for their creativity and the gentle nudge many of them need to take a leap of faith in themselves and not be so concerned about what their peers will think. How else will we get stories about the Fashionista Chicken Nugget who is in Hat Design School??
826NYC: What do you do when you’re not at 826NYC?
Shelly: When I’m not at 826NYC I enjoy being at home with my husband and relaxing, cooking, reading, and knitting. I LOVE watching scary movies! I have a 14-month old grandson that I am obsessed with and I love spending time with him and making new activities for him to try (I worked in a Montessori environment for 28 years so I am really interested in child development). I have two cats that I love and a turtle that I like. I love swimming and try to get into the pool at the Y two or three times a week.
I love my home and try to make it a cozy, nurturing place to be.
826NYC: What advice would you give a new volunteer?
Shelly: I don’t know if I would call it advice—but I would encourage new volunteers to really listen to the kids they are working with. I think we expect a lot from children these days because the power of social media and immediate access to information makes them seem so smart and worldly but they are still really young. Developing trust is very important. If a child is comfortable enough to trust you they can really open up and do great work!
826NYC: What are your superpowers?
Shelly: Superpowers? Eesh. Still working on those. I like to think I am a good swimmer. More importantly, I hope that I am really good at listening to people, even if I’m not comfortable with what they are saying. I don’t have a lot of answers but I am okay with questions!
Want to support our students? Sign up for a volunteer orientation today!