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8.26 Ways I Engaged with 826LA: An Intern Story

I first encountered the magic of 826LA as a tutor in 2012, when I gave 180 hours to After-School Tutoring (AST) [#1] as a requirement for graduation from UC-Berkeley. When I attended the Volunteering 101 session I found out what a truly different, imaginative, and trendsetting organization 826LA was. At the session I also discovered 826 was founded by one of my favorite writers, Dave Eggers, who I would actually get to meet in person when I interned in the Development department 6 years later! I volunteered at AST in Echo Park about four days per week, getting to know a few of the students well and even becoming Volunteer of the Month in October 2012. That was an honor!

Flash forward to January 2018: I had earned my Masters’ in Arts Management and wanted to gain experience in fundraising. I had gotten a good deal of experience with education including formal tutoring and teaching jobs, plus I had nothing but marvelous memories of my time at 826LA. I had some free time that I was looking to fill, and then it hit me! I remembered all the amazing interns who were so involved in the programs at 826LA in Echo Park. I thought spending a few months as an intern for 826LA [#2] would be fun and beneficial to my career—but mostly fun. I contacted 826LA Institutional Giving Manager Lauren Humphrey about working with her in the Development department, met her, and haven’t looked back!

Some highlights of my internship as a Development Intern at 826LA in Mar Vista have been…
Interviewing Executive Director Joel Arquillos and working on a grant proposal centered around his work. [#3]
Winning $500 in free swag (826LA branded caps and pins) which were given as thank-you gifts to volunteers. [#4]
Learning all about Flickr campaigns. [#5]
Personally raising $546 on Facebook to donate to 826LA. [#6]
Still getting to spend some hours working with the students at AST. [#7]
Getting to work with a team that is not only knowledgeable, but cooperative, socially responsible, and really have their hearts in the right place. [#8]
Bonus: Meeting Dave Eggers! [#0.26]

If you are considering becoming involved with 826LA as a volunteer, intern, or applying for a job, my advice is: don’t think twice! You will be drawn into a world of fantasy, time travel, and real learning, where “white rice and french fries are so good they smell like strawberries and watermelon” (from a student poem I recently heard recited) and kids that never thought any kind of literature was “for them” become published authors.


By 826LA Development Intern Natalay Goldstein.

Are you or someone you know interested in becoming an 826LA intern? Learn more about 826LA opportunities here

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