For a very long while now, I have longed to post a blog about adding a staff member. And when I say “longed,” I really mean LONGED. And so, it is with the phrase “an embarrassment of riches” racing through every fiber of my being that I announce the addition of not one, a little like two, and basically three new amazing people to our staff! (Note: We hired one full-time Program Coordinator, and then we received TWO part-time AmeriCorps members, which, if my math is correct, equals two new full-time people. Sort of. And three new staff members.)
So let’s get to it! First, I am THRILLED to tell you that we’ve hired Catherine Calabro as our new full-time Program Coordinator! Catherine has been volunteering for us for about two years now, and if you’ve come to a workshop in the last year, you’ve certainly met her, as she spent the last year as our workshops intern.
It should be noted, if the picture above didn’t win you over (and if it didn’t, why not??), that Catherine holds the distinct honor of having been Volunteer of the Month TWICE.
Catherine started THIS WEEK as our Program Coordinator, which means she’ll be doing, among other things: overseeing tutoring at 826michigan and Ypsilanti Middle School, bringing you four workshop schedules a year, AND heading up our How to Write Like I Do workshop series for adults.
Catherine graduated from U of M with poetry MFA and has spent the last year as one of the prestigious Zell Fellows. She’s worked as a lecturer at U of M, helped out with the Bear River Writers Conference, assisted with teen programs at the YMCA, staffed the Dayton International Peace Museum, and been a creative arts camp coordinator. She’s also volunteered for in-school residencies, worked in the robot shop, tutored, run workshops, and more for 826.
And I am also THRILLED to tell you that we’ve hired Ms. Katie Jones as our In-school On-site Coordinator and Ypsilanti Middle School Tutoring Point Person. She’s also the recipient of the longest job title EVER. Katie’s been volunteering for us for two years, was one of the driving forces behind incredible books like How to Rise Or, I Put My Heart into the Close and Talking Back, Giving Thanks, and Why It Never Pays to Drink the Haterade, and, essentially, is AWESOME, in exactly the way that people who are super smart, super talented, and super funny often are. She’s cute, too:
She says: Few things in this world are more exciting than helping kids and teenagers realize that it’s the act of writing that makes a person a “real writer.” After volunteering with 826michigan for a couple of years, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to spend a significant portion of my time working with teachers and volunteers so that as many students can have this realization as possible—not to mention the subsequent realizations that writing is fun, empowering, and worth the effort!
Katie Jones graduated from Earlham College with a degree in English in 2008. She’s been living in Ann Arbor ever since. In addition to being involved with 826, she spends her days selling sensible shoes at Footprints, reading and writing poetry, and observing the dramatic lives of her housemates’ cats.
And are you ready for me to be THRILLED YET AGAIN? If you are, tuck in, because I am furthermore THRILLED to announce that Amy Wilson will be our Development Assistant. Amy is a Jeopardy! champion, a fact I never tire of shouting at people when they meet her. (Perhaps it will wear off? Four months in, and it hasn’t.) Amy’s also a long-time volunteer and current intern who’s helped with in-schools, the robot shop, workshops, AND was on our kickball team. Her nickname “Curly” is well-earned:
She says: To me 826michigan is full of brilliant, talented, whimsical people who are absolutely committed to using this brilliant, talent, and whimsy to help students. I could not be prouder or more excited to work with the staff, interns, and volunteers I have met during my year of involvement with 826michigan.
Amy Wilson is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan Residential College with degrees in Creative Writing and Women’s Studies. She has worked with nonprofit organizations in Ann Arbor, MI, and Portland, OR. Amy has never been employed by a for-profit business and hopes to keep it that way.
As Amanda and I are constantly being confused—Amanda and Amy are pretty similar names—we thought we’d do y’all a favor. So the new, BIGGER staff at 826michigan consists of, in alphabetical order: Amanda, Amy, Amy, Catherine, and Katie. Easy, right? Confuse us away.
Finally, I’d just like to say HOOOOORAY! I cannot wait to call these wonderful people my co-workers. And MANY THANKS to AmeriCorps for giving us TWO members this year!