Staff Updates this August!
At the end of July, we had the pleasure of thanking Chris Brudzynski for his year of service with 826michigan as an AmeriCorps VISTA member. In his role as Programs Assistant in Detroit, Chris supported our work by doing countless hours of outreach and volunteer recruitment for our work in Detroit. He was single-handedly responsible for our tabling efforts at Eastern Market this summer (come see us on Tuesdays and Saturdays! We’ve got a sweet tent!). He oriented countless volunteers into our ranks this year and also jumped into direct programming, helping weekly at Roberto Clemente Academy and at our Wee-bots Drop-in Writing program. Chris is headed to Denver, Colorado to serve the Mile High United Way a School Partners Coordinator working with their Power Lunch Program. He’s excited to work with local corporations, community organizations, and schools, and to use the tools and creativity he’s gained from working at 826michigan to inspire more active community involvement in youth education. Says Chris, “It’s been amazing to experience the growth, acceptance, and admiration we’ve developed as an organization in Detroit. I’m excited to continue supporting Brandan, Tom, and our work in Detroit as we move closer and closer to the groundbreaking opening of the Detroit Robot Factory.” Thank you, Chris, for everything, including your help in bringing the robot takeover to the Rocky Mountains.
Taking over as our AmeriCorps VISTA position in Detroit is long-time 826 volunteer Tom Bianchi (who you may recall from GOOD Magazine fame). Tom has served as Field Trips intern, helped with just about every program we run in both Washtenaw and Wayne Counties (he’s so popular with our students that we always notice a rise in the number of characters named after Tom when he helps in a program), and coordinated many a fabulous volunteer social event, including our writing field trip sessions for adults. Tom graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan, and he’s coached lacrosse and football at the middle and high school levels for a decade.
Tom is our newest addition to the 826michigan team in Detroit.
Tom says, “I just am looking forward to continuing Chris’s great work in — and for — Detroit.” Thank you, Tom, for helping us to build community partnerships, recruit and train volunteers, and spread the message about 826michigan during the 2015-16 school year.