Volunteer of the Month

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

1
WednesdayApril 2020

Since the spring of 2019, Sejjad has been an active volunteer in more than one program. From After-school Tutoring in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor, to Summer Writers Club, and even field trips, Sejjad always brings his best to the table. 

For example, over the summer of 2019, Sejjad worked with an emerging writer in Writers Club, a six-session program where students brainstorm, write, revise and publish their work. Sejjad worked one-on-one with the program’s youngest student, a six-year-old writer in a group full of older elementary/middle school students. Sejjad was the best possible person to have working with this young writer, because of the way he balances a calm and caring approach to relationship-building with a gentle push and kind refusal to back down. The student’s initial hesitance to write his story, despite having lots of ideas, was combated with Sejjad’s teacher-level of patience as he used multiple approaches to figure out what would work best for this student. Step by step, the two worked together to bring the student’s Pokémon fan fiction to life.

His dedication to working with students continued after the summer program as he returned to take part in After-school Tutoring in Ann Arbor. To this day, Sejjad still continues to jump into any tutoring situation wholeheartedly, bringing the same caring and calm presence that he brought over the summer. Although Sejjad is a future English teacher, he is the kind of tutor who will fearlessly tackle any subject that students bring, from spelling words, understanding multi-step homework assignments, and even practicing addition. 

Sejjad has demonstrated his skills and patience time and time again, in different environments and with different students. Not only does he know how to help a student navigate the task at hand, but his calm demeanor allows for students to comfortably complete their work without distraction. He is never one to feel deterred when a student feels frustrated or has a complicated homework situation.

In between his busy schedule of attending the University of Michigan’s School of Education, writing for The Michigan Daily, and supporting After-school Tutoring (always with a cold brew coffee in hand), Sejjad also finds time to support our Field Trips on Wednesday and Friday mornings.

Sejjad, thank you for the time you put into our young people and all the work we do here at 826michigan. We would not be able to do it without the help of valiant volunteers like you. We’re looking forward to welcoming your future class of students on a field trip one day! 

2
MondayMarch 2020

This month’s Volunteer of the Month is special and not only because she’s always extremely stylish. This valued Volunteer of the Month is our very own Jenny Howard! Before she was the Director of Planned Giving and Regional Director, Central States, she began here at 826michigan as a tutoring intern back in 2008. Throughout her years here, Jenny has done it all. She worked through algebra formulas with students during tutoring, led whimsical workshops, and so much more. But of course, most importantly, Jenny has worked with so many of our students to harness the power of writing and share their stories with the world. Not only has she made an impact on our students, but to our staff as well.

6
ThursdayFebruary 2020

  At 826michigan, Savannah Johnson is our first work-study student from Eastern Michigan University and works as our In-school Projects intern! What does that exactly mean? It means that Savannah deciphers the bravest spellings, unmurks the smudgest scripts, or keystrokes students’ writing exactly as they have set it down as…

8
WednesdayJanuary 2020

Over the past year, JaVaughn Perkins has spent over 80 hours engaging and connecting with our students in Detroit in our After-school Tutoring. He is a volunteer who truly shares the values that we hold here at 826michigan when working with students. JaVaughn always walks into the doors of the Detroit…

18
WednesdayDecember 2019

  “Where’s Chase?” “Can I work with Chase?” These were questions that were heard frequently during our summer program, Words On Our Street. Chase Wade, one of our youngest volunteers, quickly became popular among the students there. With much calmness and patience, Chase persistently worked with the students, keeping them…

31
ThursdayOctober 2019

Ninad Ahmed is a spectacular volunteer! For about 18 months, Ninad has been the most consistent retail support in our Detroit Robot Factory (other than our very own retail manager, of course). EVERY SATURDAY, Ninad drives to the Eastern Market from Sterling Heights to run his three hour shift. He…

1
SundaySeptember 2019

Summer 2019 graced us with the most incredible interns ever! Here’s what makes them special. Olivia Grantham Olivia sought us out from the start. She started volunteering with our field trips program and was a strong presence for the classes of young people visiting here to write fantastic and wonderous…

12
FridayJuly 2019

If you have ever talked with Lara Zielin, then you know how enthusiastic she is about writing, about Ypsilanti, about 826michigan, and about living! We are so lucky to have Lara as a long-time volunteer and board member. Many of you will recognize Lara from her recent stint as a…

10
MondayJune 2019

“Can I work with Chris?!”   In our Ann Arbor After-school Tutoring Program, this is a common greeting shortly after students sign in for the day. Our June 2019 Volunteer of the Month, Chris Engers, is a beloved student favorite. Since January 2017, Chris has been an after-school tutor at…

4
SaturdayMay 2019

Elizabeth Bihary is one of our newest volunteers. She has jumped right into building wonderful relationships with weE-Bots at the Detroit Public Library’s Redford branch. Although she’s not studying anything connected to education at Oakland University , she has an amazing knack for releasing our young authors from writer’s block….

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