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ThursdayApril 2020

Daniela, one of our amazing interns, has been with us since September of 2019. In short, she has been a reliable, creative, courageous, data-processing, coffee-loving, posing-with-a-pizza-for-a-picture-taking, and important part of 826michigan. In full, Daniela is everything mentioned above and was also a regular volunteer during our Young Authors Book Project this past semester at Ypsilanti Community High School. She worked with Nick Azzaro’s photography class, facilitating small groups of students who were using poetry, personal narrative, and photography to explore identity, geography, environment, and belonging.

The students, staff, and volunteers worked together to decide the direction of the project and this involved a lot of courage on everyone’s part. Daniela bravely participated in writing alongside the students during each session so that she could speak authentically with them about the writing process. 

Daniela was also a part of our OMNIBUS 11 release party at the Ypsilanti District LIbrary on Whittaker Road, where she warmly welcomed families to the event and cheered on our published authors. She also supported the grand opening of YpsiWrites by facilitating writing exercises with families at the library AND reviewing feedback from our teaching of writing dialogue series to help us improve the experience for future sessions! She has also supported our Family Writing Laboratories, greeting families and writing alongside them at writing stations, and she’s jumped into Field Trips and Writers Club sessions on Friday mornings, too!

In addition to her direct work with students, Daniela works behind the scenes to track important information about programs. She processes all of the survey data that we collect from students, families, and volunteers and creates reports that staff members can use as they make decisions about programming and share the story of 826michigan to wide audiences. Her insights in these program evaluations have led to important changes in our volunteer training and programs. She’s also very detail-oriented and follows up thoroughly about specific questions regarding student information so our data can be clean, clear, and ready to use for good!

Not only is Daniela an exceptional intern and volunteer, but this Windy City native also just completed her degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan. We’ve been so lucky to have worked with such a dedicated and creative soul here at 826michigan. Thank you, Daniela, for all your insight, humor, and friendship, and so many congratulations to you on your graduation!

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