Volunteer of the Month

Care to meet the elite team of supervolunteers whom we’ve honored over the years?

MondayFebruary 2016

Andrea at an event

It is pretty rare that someone becomes Volunteer of the Month at 826michigan before being here at least a year. Occasionally, though, someone comes on board and knocks our socks off immediately in a way that makes the whole staff take notice. (And feet our cold.)

This month we would like to celebrate one of those someones: allow us to introduce Andrea Cisneros, February 2016’s Volunteer of the Month. Andrea is a PhD student at University of Michigan’s School of Education. She is also a former classroom teacher and educational consultant.

andrea teachingAndrea started volunteering this fall with our on-going in-school project at Adams STEM Academy in Ypsilanti. Knowing her background, it didn’t take long for us to make increasing requests upon her time. We enlisted Andrea to help design and lead a six-session Motown workshop at Pathways to Success, an alternative school in Ann Arbor. Organized, creative, and oh-so reliable, Andrea jumped in and began developing amazing lesson plans and materials. She contributed thoughtfully to many a brainstorm session and recruited her music-loving partner to help volunteer. In addition to all of this, Andrea also lead many of the sessions in class, enlivening a very quiet group of students.

Did we then stop and say, we’ve asked for Andrea’s help so much already, we should take a pause? No, no we did not. We jumped right in and requested that she lead a last-minute addition to our in-school project calendar. She obliged graciously and this allowed us to bring the magic of 826 to three ADDITIONAL classrooms that we were not able to accommodate with our field trip schedule this year. andrea teaching at 826michigan

Let’s just say Andrea has MAJOR lesson planning skills and a classroom presence that would make Ms. Honey envious. She unites best practices and theory with a super charismatic personality, and we’ve seen students from first to twelfth grade respond to her teaching with enthusiasm. She is fun to be around, incredibly smart, kind, and thoughtful. What can she not do?! And to top it off, she has fantastic style and super gorgeous hair. We feel unendingly fortunate that Andrea has been drawn into the sphere of 826 and super happy that doctorate degrees take so long to complete (Andrea, don’t ever leave!).

WednesdayJanuary 2016

Mirella the Fantabulous In December of 2014, a warm Oakland breeze brought Mirella Villalpando into our lives. Mirella, a Cali native, was working toward her Dual Degree in Social Work and Public Health University of Michigan. Her social work focus was on community organizing and nonprofit management, and it was quickly…

TuesdayDecember 2015

Matt Beyersdorf, our December 2015 Volunteer of the Month is a robotier extraordinaire (a.k.a. robot shop volunteer) who has been holding down a tricky-to-fill Saturday store shift for over a year. He knows our line of Kikkerland wind-up bots better than anyone and quickly helps visitors feel welcomed. His store…

FridayNovember 2015

Beth Fowler, A Fan Favourite When you hear the explosion of children’s laughter in a classroom, you know you’re having a great workshop. When you hear an explosion of laughter from volunteers alongside those students, you know that something truly inspiring is happening. That’s how it feels every time November…

FridayOctober 2015

The 826michigan Education Advisory Board This spring we piloted a new project, based on the trailblazing efforts of intelligence at 826CHI (no wonder their theme is espionage)! We assembled an all-star A TEAM of educators to help advise us on programming decisions and best practices when working with students and volunteers…

WednesdaySeptember 2015

Alyssa Lopez asked us something during her internship in the summer of 2014 that stopped many a heart mid-beat: I love doing data entry–are there any other projects like this I can do? There are many important roles that 826michigan volunteers take on when it comes to our programs, and…

SaturdayAugust 2015

Jeff is a scientist and a musician, but it’s impossible to label him with just a few words, or for that matter, with just a few 826michigan programs.  For example, while he has taught multiple STEM-based writing workshops for us (Busting Bat Myths, Do You Dig It, and Sound and…

WednesdayJuly 2015

Noelle Sciarini, Volunteer Extraordinaire We often have folks come to us, wondering if there are volunteer opportunities for those who work nine-to-five, full-time-style jobs. We show them a picture of Noelle Sciarini, our July Volunteer of the Month.Okay, we don’t actually do that, but we COULD, because Noelle has found so many…

TuesdayJune 2015

Sometimes we celebrate more than one volunteer in a month, and usually it is because they work closely together in a program, are related by blood, or are married. This month, we have paired two volunteers who don’t have any of these in common—but they DO happen to share a last…

MondayMay 2015

  There is the League of Superheroes and there is Dumbledore’s Army and there is the Dead Poet’s Society and then, above them all, is the special triumvirate of Liberty Street Tutoring Interns, Katie, Ricky, and Emma. Every day Monday through Thursday these three important people make our program run,…

115 East Liberty Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 761-3463