Hatt Merlino has been such a welcome part of the Detroit After-School Tutoring volunteer roster. Their calm demeanor has helped set such a good tone in our tutoring space in Detroit this year. They have a unique way of engaging students in a warm and attentive way, with a sensitivity for encouraging students to complete one more math problem and also for when it’s just time to take a break and relax with a book, writing activity, or snack. You can often find Hatt writing or joking right along with the students they are working with and can often hear their laughter clearly above the tutoring lab noise. If you listen closely, you may even overhear a question to help students process through their own thinking and feelings.
Hatt also enjoys bridging connections within their personal network in order to help in other areas at 826michigan. Their background in music and event planning has already brought a boost to the ethos around this year’s Mittenfest planning. Their willingness to jump in where needed has been such a refreshing and welcome spirit in our spaces and their thoughtful consideration and introspection has provided so much great feedback to our programs and students directly.
Hatt immediately left their mark in the hearts of our staff and students. They have a contagious energy and genuine interest in each person’s well being. Hatt is so amazing, that they first heard about 826 in another state, and though they never got a chance to volunteer there, made every effort to volunteer here. They are so warm and generous in spirit; it shows from the first smile they share upon meeting you and in every interaction with students. We are beyond ecstatic to see how Hatt continues to contribute to 826michigan’s work and impact the lives of our students.