Dan Smith & Nadia Khagani!
This month, there really are not two more deserving volunteers for Volunteer of the Month than Dan Smith and Nadia Khagani. Literally. We like to think of them as a two-headed robot of calm goodness, despite the fact that while their internship titles are remarkably similar, their volunteer duties are a bit different, AND they work in two completely different locations, and rarely see each other. Intriguing, non?
We could not have lucked out more with our tutoring interns this year. It’s a complicated internship to be sure. It requires a varied skill set, from greeting parents to working with students to training volunteers to pairing everyone up to putting out any number of fires (not literally this year, thank goodness) to organizing snacks to controlling chaos, and beyond. As tutoring is the backbone of our student programs, it is crucial that the tutoring interns be on their A-game, like, all the time.
Enter Nadia and Dan. They are, in some ways, very similar. For example:
- They are remarkably calm. Even under intense pressure, they cannot be ruffled.
- They have a patient, warm dynamic with every student they come into contact with. It’s really endearing to watch.
- They were both voted Best Laugh during our multi-annual Intern Appreciation Award ceremony.
- They are incredibly reliable (perfect attendance awards!) and punctual.
- They never seem to be in a bad mood!
- Their dedication to our students is unflagging.
There’s other stuff too. Like, that they’re both really funny, and really fun to be around. That they’re both people you actively WANT to be sitting next to at a dinner party. And, it should be noted, they’re also the sort of people that everyone at the kids’ table wants to be sitting next to too, at that same dinner party. That sort of thing. We’re pretty sure they’re just straight-out popular every where they go, and for good reason.
And, of course, they’re also remarkably unique. Take Nadia, for instance. Nadia comes in every day dressed in something that basically every single person on the staff covets, and yet fully realizes she could never, in a million years, “pull off.” There’s a LOT of fashion stuff that, in our opinion, ONLY Nadia can pull off. The girl is gorgeous! She also smells wonderful, and we love how the lab is infused with that delicious smell whenever she is here. Furthermore, she is into things like Korean soap operas, and fancy foods we can’t pronounce, and she speaks multiple languages.
Dan is uniquely tall. He is, for example, the tallest intern we’ve EVER had, no question. Dan helms what we consider to be our MOST demanding, most difficult intern position. Why, you ask? Have you ever spent two-and-a-half hours in a room filled with middle schoolers who have already been at school for eight or so hours when you see them? It’s…not always pretty. But you wouldn’t be able to tell that by watching Dan. He continually brings this warm, controlled, caring energy into that environment. You know those teachers that you loved the most, but that you also would never, ever try to mess with? Dan’s that type. (He’s also, in our experience, difficult to get a picture of.)
We are so grateful, Dan and Nadia, for your amazing work this year. You truly WOWed us at every conceivable opportunity, which was daily (often multiple times each day). You will both, without question, go down in the 826michigan annals of All-Time Favorite Interns. We LOVE you both, to pieces. We cannot imagine doing this next year without you. In fact, we’re not even going to let ourselves think about that, as it is too sad to consider on such a sunny and joyful day.