Volunteer of the Month

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

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WednesdayNovember 2017

shirazShiraz Ahmed is a top-notch journalist, world traveler, and outstanding volunteer. He hails from the Lone Star State’s biggest city—Houston, Texas—and has made it a point to become an active part of the Detroit community ever since he made this city his home.

Shiraz began volunteering with 826michigan in 2015, consistently supporting our Wee-Bots program at the Campbell Branch of the Detroit Public Library. To our delight, he was among the most thrilled to see the chapbook of student work at the release party later that spring. Since then, Shiraz has done SO MUCH to support programs in Detroit. For instance, he hosted a workshop this past summer in the Detroit Robot Factory, made it a personal point to advocate for 826michigan at his job (shoutout to all of our volunteers from Crain’s Detroit Business!), and has inspired a coworker to get more deeply involved as a mainstay at Detroit After-School Tutoring. We are so pleased to highlight all of his work now.

Shiraz is a mainstay in our Detroit classrooms, as an In-schools Projects volunteer—helping to make our first-ever offsite Storytelling and Bookingmaking experience a success! It is one of his favorite places to work with students, particularly as he remembers an editing party for our 2017 Young Author’s Book Project as one of his most cherished 826michigan moments. In the classroom, Shiraz puts his professional writing experience as an automotive news journalist to work, most notably at last year’s “Transportation of the Future” workshop with students from the Boggs School Writing Club.shiraz on his travels

On a more personal note, Shiraz has a laugh that sparks joy and solidifies his connections with students. It always comes at moments that demonstrate he is fully engaged and truly believes in students’ stories and ideas. He also totally nominated 826michigan to be the beneficiary of Crain’s Cares, a quarterly giving program through Crain’s Detroit Business. Thanks to his advocacy, 826michigan was selected as one of 2016’s four charities. He motivated his coworkers to donate a collection of books to the Detroit Robot Factory that reflect a diversity of characters and rich spectrum of character experiences, and together, he and his coworkers raised more than $1,000 to support our students!

This year, he even hosted a creative nonfiction workshop where he led students through interviewing and note-taking practices so that they could then turn their favorite summer experiences into rich works of creative nonfiction. And this fall, he recruited yet another awesome volunteer to our ranks, Jackie Charniga, who is an active tutor in Detroit today. In short, after bragging about Shiraz for an entire page, there’s little we cannot say about how much he adds to our volunteer community and brings to writing experience for our students. We are so glad to finally recognize Shiraz as our Volunteer of the Month!

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SundayOctober 2017

  Have you walked into the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair recently and gasped? Have you exclaimed with delight and slight confusion, “This place looks different!”? Thanks to a team of super volunteers, you can now browse 826michigan shirts and sweatshirts on a special built-in rack, try out a…

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FridaySeptember 2017

If we were to make a graph to plot the points of Lillie’s contributions to 826michigan this summer, those points would be off the charts (ha!). Lillie Schneyer isn’t new to 826michigan — she’s been working with us for years, starting as an elementary school student who participated in workshops…

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FridayAugust 2017

Our August 2017 Volunteer of the Month, Maggie McGuire, began volunteering in our Detroit programs this past school year and we are so thrilled she has joined our crew. We fell in love with Maggie immediately and the more we find out about her, the deeper we fall. She is…

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FridayJuly 2017

Tammy Nguyen, our July 2017 Volunteer of the Month, came to us by way of our northern neighbor, Canada.* After moving to Ann Arbor with her husband, Tammy was determined to become deeply engaged in the community and build a vibrant network. We have been one of the lucky recipients…

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ThursdayJune 2017

We are SO pleased to announce Bridget Gibbons as our June 2017 Volunteer of the Month! June is a month of culmination at 826michigan—so many projects are coming together into a fantastic grand finale for the end of the school year. This year is even more special as we are…

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TuesdayMay 2017

A funny thing happened to Jean Leverich this week as she walked into 826michigan for the field trip: she started pondering the depths of Dr. Blotch’s complex psyche. She thought: Although Dr. Blotch often misplaces their diary during our Strange Mysteries! field trip, is there something else of equal or…

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WednesdayApril 2017

There’s so much to love about the communities where we run our programs, and one of our favorite things is the partnerships we build with the academic institutions in these cities. This month we’re excited to celebrate the Academic Service Learning (ASL) students of Eastern Michigan University and the University…

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ThursdayMarch 2017

In the organized chaos and logistical back-flips of a field trip, one of the most frantic aspects is the actual putting together of books written by the class. Checking of page order, orientation, not messing up the binding strip, unjamming the binding machine. But most importantly, letting students see the…

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FridayFebruary 2017

When we think about what Rachel and Brad are able to do each week in our programs, with their powers combined, we simply couldn’t imagine splitting them apart — they are an incredible force for good in Washtenaw County and we couldn’t do what we do without them.

Liberty Street Robot
Supply & Repair
115 East Liberty Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 761-3463
Detroit Robot Factory
1351 Winder
Detroit, MI 48207
(313) 818-0255