April 2009 – Jared Hawkley

April 1, 2009 | 826 Blog Post

Jared Hawkley

Jared Hawkley!

We know what you’re thinking right now: Wait, hasn’t Jared Hawkley already been Volunteer of the Month? Friends, you must believe us when we tell you that he hasn’t.

It’s crazy, we know. Jared has been interning with us for about twenty-one months (and counting!) now. It’s the longest internship ever. Discussing his many accomplishments becomes cumbersome, but we will do our best. Arranged systematically:

Publications. Jared is, technically, our Publishing Intern. He has helped create a slew of our books, including If I Ever Saw Mr. JK, I Would Ask Him These Things, Tall Tales & True Stories, Fairy Tale Poems, Ekphrastic is Fantastic, I’m Glad for the Moon So I Can See in the Dark, the 826michigan OMNIBUS, and, of course, the upcoming OMG-STILL-AS-YET-UNTITLED Ypsilanti High book. He designs, he edits, he orders, he table-of-contentses, he covers, and, even more impressively, he is generally able to make Amy laugh, even in the more stressful parts of the process.

Workshops. Jared has also taught a number of sweet workshops, ranging in topic from tall tales to puppet theater. To say he has a way with students would be understating it. As a teacher, the best way we can think of to describe him is delightful.

Best American Non-Required Reading. Jared is the program advisor for our chapter’s editorial board for the Best American Non-Required Reading. Each week, he combs through scores of literary journals, and each week he meets with ten or so high school students to discuss the short stories. He manages to make Monday nights both thought-provoking AND fun for the editorial board.

Events. Surely you heard how Jared stole-all-the-shows at our 24-Hour Theater event last weekend. Perhaps you also heard how he stole-the-show at our FIRST 24-Hour Theater event too. He’s a show stealer.

Remember when we said it would get cumbersome?

Let’s condense: In-Schools. From teaching workshops to classroom assistance to our Traveling Editors program, Jared has represented us in schools in just about every way imaginable. Sign Making. Jared makes killer signs. Lunch. Jared often brings us delicious treats from the Produce Station, his “day job.” Last week he brought Amy a butternut squash burrito that was so good it almost made her cry. Tutoring. What can we say? He’s a natural. He works with even the most difficult of students with grace.

Here’s the best part of the last two years with Jared Hawkley, though. We honestly feel like we have watched him BLOSSOM. It truly is astounding to think back to the young man we now refer to as Kansas Jared who walked through our doors almost two years ago. Kansas Jared was very sweet, pretty shy, a little awkward, and kind of a goof. Ann Arbor Jared is all of those things, sure, but also snarkily hilarious, sharply witty, and heck, even pretty suave, and always, always with that heart of gold. Let’s just say: it’s hard to describe, but it’s AWESOME.

Jared, you’re the best! PLEASE DON’T EVER LEAVE US.

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