Take a look at that picture. You might have seen it before.
Why? Because we use it ALL THE TIME to represent our organization. On websites! In funding letters! Etc! Occasionally we have said, “we can’t use THAT picture again,” but we still use it!
We are suckers for that photo. Not only for what it represents — a moment of focus and connection between a volunteer and a student — but also for who it depicts: Mr. Daniel Reck, volunteer extraordinaire.
Dan is currently working on his PhD in Economics from the University of Michigan, so one could say he’s a bit of a “numbers guy”. In honor of that aspect of Dan, let’s enumerate his positive qualities.
1. Dan is a wonderful tutor. As shown in that photo, Dan approaches tutoring, and tutoring students, with a level of kindness, care, and attention that warms our hearts. He is also good at math. We appreciate this, very much.
2. Dan is a creative and enthusiastic workshop leader. From posting instructions about how to make toast on Ann Arbor lamp posts to designing and leading a three-session workshop all about writing about math, Dan’s workshops have a special element that we can only call pizzazz.
3. Dan is a charter member of the Field Trip Crew. This past year, our field trips program sort of. . .gelled around a group of reliable and dedicated volunteers. (Including a possibly RECORD number of Volunteers of the Month: Kati Shanks [VotM August ’10], John Klein Wilson [VotM March ’12], Ryan Beatty [VotM May ’12], Alyssa Selasky [VotM April ’12].) In fact, field trips became such a well-oiled machine that we tried our hand at some NEW field trips. Including some that were planned, uh, the day before. Including some that involved Dan wearing funny hats. Including some that involved Dan playing a time-traveling scientist from the future. He does this all with a quality that we can only call panache.
4. Dan is up for anything. Filming a TV show called “Cooking It The Blotch Way” for our highly complicated spring program at University Preparatory Academy in Detroit. Singing the lead in a robotic version of “O Holy Night” whilst wrapped in tinfoil for our annual Christmas caroling endeavor, Bot Choir. Wearing any number of funny hats and costumes. When it comes to that sort of thing, Dan is the MAN.
5. Dan is an all-around fun guy. Whether it’s discussing the literature of the day in our volunteer book club, the Reading Robots — which, by the way, he helped to START — or singing a Backstreet Boys song at karaoke, wherever Dan Reck is: there’s a party.
6. We can’t believe Dan Reck has not ALREADY BEEN Volunteer of the Month. So, here it is.
Dan, you are a true super star. Thank you so much for all you have done for and with 826michigan! We are a better, brighter, funnier, curlier, quirkier, and math-ier place with you around.