Volunteer of the Month

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

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FridayJune 2018

In the world of volunteering at 826michigan, there is sprinting and there is long-distance volunteering. Some folks are sprinters, and can volunteer for a couple of months, several times a week—but—because of other commitments in the world, or new jobs, have to reorganize their schedule and can no longer volunteer. Others are the marathoners. Those runners have been volunteering for years and give 826michigan a consistency on which to build out our programs. One such long-distance runner, both metaphorically as a tutor and literally as an athlete, is Katie Brown.

Katie Brown was one of the first volunteers get Detroit’s After School Tutoring Program off to a running start when it returned  in January of 2017. An amazingly generous and friendly new volunteer to 826michigan, Katie (or as she sometimes accidentally signs-in “Kathryn,” which she doesn’t actually go by), quickly took the lead to become our resident expert in science with her expertise in physiology, movement science, and epidemiology. And even if a student had earth science homework, which Brandan foolishly figures is the same as physiology, Katie is happy to help and learn even MORE about science.

Katie works downtown, and finishes the workday strong to get out early and make it to tutoring at the Detroit Robot Factory every week, where she is greeted by VERY excited students. Aaliah, 10, adores working with Katie where in between assignments they play I Spy (which Aaliah is very good at) or just catch up about best places to get your ears pierced in the mall (it’s J.C. Penny).

Most recently she helped Sergio turn a three sentence story into a massive epic involving a cosmic ball of energy on vacation in Somalia. On days where we have new tutors, Katie acts as a mentor to them as well, providing a shining example of how to get students having fun while getting through challenging homework assignments with breaks and games. During this time she also builds relationships with fellow tutors, and has even joined forces with them on the volleyball court.

And you may be surprised to know that Katie is not only a volunteer at 826michigan (but where does she find the time!?), but she ALSO volunteers as a coach for Girls on the Run, sharing her love of running and movement science with the next generation of female scientists. This fall, Katie will start a Physician Assistant program at the University of Iowa, and we could not be more excited for her.

Katie, thank you for all that you have done to make after-school tutoring in Detroit a place of learning and laughter. You definitely are deserving of a gold medal for long-commitment tutoring!

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FridayMay 2018

Can’t you just hear the sweeping, melodic rhythms of Pomp and Circumstance ringing out in the spring air? What a time of reflection, achievement, and completion. With graduations looming and graduates dashing around to finish credits and find gowns, it’s a bittersweet time at 826michigan–this is when we reflect on…

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WednesdayApril 2018

Once in a blue moon are we graced with volunteers like Maria Garcia. The University of Minnesota graduate is a chemist and chemical engineer. She’s also multi-faceted–she balanced her engineering course work with singing soprano in the campus choir and found time to master both French and Spanish. Maria walked…

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WednesdayFebruary 2018

Omari Baruti joined 826michigan in the fall of 2016 with the goal of leading STEM workshops in Detroit schools. To get started, he made it his mission to learn about 826 by volunteering as an after-school tutor on Liberty Street. There he has continuously helped students in all subject areas—from…

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ThursdayFebruary 2018

Susan is a regular volunteer with field trips on Liberty Street and we are so lucky to have her walk in the door on Wednesday and Friday mornings. These field trips require many different roles to be filled, several of them theatrical. Not only is Susan a dependable volunteer, but…

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TuesdayJanuary 2018

Putting together a music festival is no easy task. Putting together a music festival where the artists donate their talents and performances for a local nonprofit organization, well that’s just plain tough. Enter the Mittenfest Booking Team. While it has seen many faces over the years, one thing is consistent:…

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FridayDecember 2017

Every month, we seek out a volunteer to highlight for their outstanding contributions to 826michigan, and each year that we grow, it becomes so much harder. Annually, we can only recognize twelve of the more than five hundred dedicated, outstanding humans who support our students each year. Closing out a…

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WednesdayNovember 2017

Shiraz 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…

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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…

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