November 2010

Emily Alexander goes back and forth between New York City and Venice. When she isn’t spending time with 826LA kids after school (including our Community Citizenship Series with the Venice Community Housing Corporation) she works on various policy projects for people back in NYC. She is excited to check out 826NYC in Brooklyn when she goes back to NYC in December but really can’t wait to get back to tutoring at 826LA in April.

Leo Betancourt is a native Angeleno, growing up in Highland Park before venturing off to college and eventually to the military. After serving fourteen years in the Army, in which he completed five tours of overseas duty, he decided there were safer means to be of service. He has been a steady volunteer since February of this year and brings to 826LA a spirit of community. Leo has demonstrated a dedication to the kids and hopes to inspire by example. He is a master of the unreachable high five, but eventually succumbs to the smiling faces and lowers it to within reach, usually just before the kids decide to climb all over him to slap his hand. Currently, he is pursuing a teaching credential at Antioch University.

John Carrigan moved to Los Angeles in 1998 to attend law school at UCLA. After graduating in 2001, he began working as an attorney, specializing in the field of labor and employment law. Late last year he relocated to Venice, just a stone’s throw from 826LA West, where he recently began volunteering as an after-school tutor. Highlights of his time with 826LA so far include working with kids on essay writing and helping out at 826LA’s stand-up comedy workshop at the Hammer Museum. Lowlights include every time a student beats him at chess, although he is working diligently to improve. In his spare time, he enjoys rock and roll music, travel, and NBA basketball.

Kelly Opdycke grew up in a small Midwestern town but moved to the biggest possible city after deciding she could learn no more from small-town life. Although she first landed in the independent music business in NYC, she quickly realized the West Coast was where she belonged. 826LA came into her life after a trip to the Time Travel Mart earlier this year. When she’s not tutoring the wonderful, inventive kids at 826LA East, Kelly serves local, organic food at a restaurant near her neighborhood. She’s currently applying to grad schools to study communication theory and political science.

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