August 2007 – Our Team of Summer Superinterns

August 1, 2007 | 826 Blog Post


Our Team of Summer Superinterns!

Sure, we’ve tossed around the idea of having more than one person be the Volunteer of the Month. But we’re generally against that. This month, however, we had no choice.

We’ve been lucky to have a number of great interns. In the spring of 2006, in fact, we had a wonderful team of interns. (Note: this was before the Volunteer of the Month even existed.)

We really lucked out this summer. Down a staff member (Amy was on leave), we were nervous about the workload of our seemingly insane summer programming. Enter:

Intern #1: Rachel Lieberman

(Note: the interns are indeed referred to by number, and numbers were determined by order of appearance.)

Rachel won us over immediately. Not only has she done a lot of cool things (for example, she was in the Peace Corps in Kenya), but she has one of those gregariously sassy attitudes that we here at 826michigan are suckers for. She’s got “strong woman” written all over her: intelligent, sarcastic, and able.

A brief list of the incredible things she did for us this summer:

Taught a summer-long ‘zine making workshop to Ypsilanti teens at Ozone House; researched resources for finding volunteers, organized our volunteer process, did a number of other things related to outreach and volunteers; showed up at 826michigan events even when she didn’t have to; and showed us pictures of herself as a child, when she looked exactly like Little Orphan Annie.


Intern #2: Valerie Valentino

In addition to being dubbed “Director of Alliteration,” Valerie has been our “catch all” intern. She couldn’t stick around for the whole summer, and so she wound up doing a lot of the thankless tasks an internship generally entails. This is made her all the more special to us because she never complained, rolled her eyes, or gave us any attitude whatsoever, no matter how mundane the task. She’s a keeper: sweet, friendly, nice, and always laughing.

A brief list of the incredible things she did for us this summer:

Helped Jessica organize the rummage sale; took the lead on making sure all necessary flyers we in full supply; made parents and new volunteers feel at home when they walked through our doors; ran errands (and even offered to pick up coffee while she was out, a task too Devil Wears Prada for us to actually ask any of our interns); photocopied, photocopied, photocopied; and bore a striking resemblance to pop singer Jojo (causing every girl in tutoring to worship her just a little bit).


Intern #3: Emilie Lerner

We basically had no choice but to give Emilie an internship. She came highly recommended by our first-ever Superintern Diana “DK” Kimball, who wrote Amy a veeeery long letter describing Emilie’s many fine qualities. We have found every word of that letter to be true: she’s organized, intelligent, and very very nice. She also has the patience of a saint, which is a good quality for the person running our Summer Workshop Schedule to have.

A brief list of the incredible things she did for us this summer:

“Was” Amy in Amy’s absence, which involved: doing all workshop registration; facilitating all workshops; working closely with workshop leaders, facilitators, and participants; contacting parents and workshop leaders and participants with reminders about upcoming workshops; organizing class lists, waitlists, and facilitator sign-ups; giving new parents and volunteers tours of 826michigan; and so much other stuff that it’s almost giving us a headache to write it all down.


Intern #4: Ellen Fitzgerald

Ellen was greeted in late May with an enormous stack of projects we had for her. Any mere mortal would’ve been overwhelmed. The only words we can use to describe how Ellen handled it are: “with aplomb.” She’s cool as a cucumber, that one. And nice and funny and sweet (Are you sensing a trend? Every word of it is true.)

A brief list of the incredible things she did for us this summer:

Led Drop-in Writing Time twice a week, all summer long; worked with kids at Hikone as a partnership with Community Action Network; taught two weeks of writing workshops to Ypsilanti youth as part of Gear Up’s summer camp; and was essentially a joy to be around for the whole summer.

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