February 2011 – Rachel Slezak

February 1, 2011 | 826 Blog Post

Rachel Slezak!

Rachel Slezak!

The timing on this one is almost as odd as the picture (this was, literally, the best picture we could find of her — yes, we realize it’s the back of her head; turns out we don’t have a lot of pictures of Rachel, and she doesn’t have a facebook to steal from), but we are happy as can be to bestow a very important honor on a VERY deserving volunteer.

Rachel Slezak has been volunteering with us for a looooong time, and in numerous capacities. After attending a presentation we gave at the University of Michigan two years back, Rachel started volunteering as her schedule allowed. In 2010, however, she really turned it up.

Rachel has tutored, workshopped, robotied, and in-schooled for us this last year, logging in scores of hours in each department. You know how a lot of people are really, really good at one thing, and then maybe okay-to-pretty-good at everything else? Rachel is one of those rare cases who is really, really good at everything.

As a tutor, she’s incredibly patient and attentive. She has a demeanor that calms down even the most stressed of students. In fact, stressed out tutors have mentioned that just sitting at the same table as Rachel relaxes them. No amount of homework is unmanageable, no problem unsolvable. What a gift we are able to give our students in Rachel as a tutor.

As a workshop volunteer, Rachel rolls with the punches. She has facilitated many a workshop during her time as a volunteer, and is up for whatever is needed. Have a specific task in mind? She’ll do it. Just need people to circulate and make sure all the students are headed in the right direction? It’s already done. What a gift we are able to give our workshop leaders in Rachel as a facilitator.

As a robotier, Rachel not only has a shift that she never misses, she also picks up sub shifts left and right, a trait that, it may go without saying but we will anyway, is super DUPER helpful in a volunteer-driven environment. She is friendly and clever and punctual. She helps people understand just what exactly is happening in here, and then she helps them find whatever they need. What a gift we are able to give our customers in Rachel as a robotier.

As an in-school resident, Rachel was pretty much everything we hope for in an off-site volunteer. She always showed up to each residency on time, and with a positive attitude. She helped do the on-site organization of other volunteers. We received several emails about her from happy teachers. What a gift we are able to give our teachers in Rachel as an in-school resident.

Even after all that, it feels like we’re missing things. She’s a phenomenal cleaner. She’s great at organizing things. She has just about the neatest handwriting you’ve ever seen. She’s lovely and amazing.

Rachel had to cut back her volunteer hours because she is student teaching at Ypsilanti Middle School this semester, which is awesome, although we miss showcasing her talent. BUT she drops by our tutoring program at YMS regularly to help with math. She also still robotiers it up every Saturday morning — you should stop by and congratulate her!

Rachel: THANK YOU for everything you have done for us! Thank you for sticking around despite your very busy schedule. We know you are going to be an incredible teacher!

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