1. How did you first get involved with 826NYC and why did you decide to volunteer?
I started as an after-school tutor with 826NYC in January 2019 and then started working a shift at the BSSCo. in February. I found out about 826 through searching for volunteer opportunities in education in the New York area, and I decided to get involved because of the organization’s focus on creative writing and because I was familiar with the BSSCo’s trademark storefront (it was kind of an “oh, THAT’S what that is” moment).
2. What’s your favorite part of 826NYC?
I think the combination of the BSSCo. and the Secret Library makes for a wholly unique and fun educational space. Providing support, interesting environment dedicated to academic and creative work, that is separate from both school and home, is one of the main strengths of the program. I both tutor and work a shift in the BSSCo., and I like seeing how the store supports and spreads the word about 826’s programs. While working at the BSSCo., I often see students who participated in field trips to the Secret Library come in with their families, excited to show them the place. I don’t know a lot of educational organizations that inspire a similar sense of excitement.
3. What do you do when you’re not at 826NYC?
I am currently applying to grad school at Pratt for Library and Information Science. Otherwise, I enjoy writing, reading, and playing with my pet hedgehog, Taro.
4. What advice would you give a new volunteer?
I was really nervous before my first session of tutoring. I would tell a volunteer who is similarly nervous that many of the students have been coming to 826 for years, and are really welcoming. It’s also OK if you don’t immediately know the answer to something– just be upfront with the student about it. There’s always a way to figure it out.
5. What are your superpowers?
Encyclopedic knowledge of Futurama jokes.