From 826LA in Echo Park
Name: Christine Quigless
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Occupation: Founder, Whitman Grace (We make comfy dresses for women!) and Founder, CQACTSATPrep.com (I’ve been a tutor since age 12 and enjoy tutoring the ACT and the SAT!)
Volunteers for: After-School Tutoring and Write On! Summer Camp
What was the best book or series that you’ve ever read? All of The Baby-Sitters Club, Jane Eyre, and A Tale of Two Cities
Favorite 826LA moment with students? A Tie: 1) I encourage the students at my table to support each other and I really enjoy witnessing a student’s struggle to figure out how to answer another student’s question—it’s really cool to watch them make the choice to be vulnerable and run the risk of getting the question wrong, especially when they’re usually right! This also makes the other student more willing to try to help the table later. 2) Watching my students create really great ideas about things they are passionate about: family, culture, language, goals, careers, dreams.
From 826LA in Mar Vista
Name: Sarah Marsh
Hometown: Santa Monica, CA
Occupation: Student! I’m a gender studies major.
Volunteers for: Field Trips, Workshops, After-School Tutoring, Tuesday and Thursday Night Tutoring, and Write On! Summer Camp
What was the best book or series that you’ve ever read? The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is one of the most influential books I have ever read–and I got to read it at a young age, too! I hope it’s still required reading for ninth graders over at SAMOHI.
Favorite 826LA moment with students? Wow. My favorite moment at 826LA has been every moment after the next. I’m so fortunate to be surrounded by such enthusiastic, bright students with so much to offer the world and their communities–and beyond that, so much to offer to all of us volunteers. Sometimes you learn the most from the people who you’re trying to help!
I think the most outstanding memory I have so far in my time volunteering at 826LA in Mar Vista would have to be the Viva Mar Vista! [journalism workshop] release party which just happened in June. It was awe inspiring to see so many hard working students with fantastic ideas, impressive research chops, and the articles to prove that not only can they all talk the talk, but walk the walk! I was surrounded by so many young journalists, many of whom I got to work closely with, and even get to know very well during one-on-one work. When I got the copy of the newspaper they’d devoted so much time and love to, I almost started crying right there in front of everyone. I was SO proud.
College Access Highlight
Name: Mike Carrig
Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Occupation: Educator/English Teacher
Volunteers for: In-Schools and Personal Statement sessions
What was the best book or series that you’ve ever read? I don’t carry favorites, but one book I like to come back to is, Manifesto: A Century of Isms; it’s an anthology of literary and artistic manifestos assembled by Mary Ann Caws. This useful collection of short revolutionary texts offers some of the most mad and bombastic prose ever written.
Favorite 826LA moment with students? I love seeing the ‘826-effect’ in LA classrooms. 826LA has established relationships with an impressive mix of local public and charter schools. Being able to volunteer with them has exposed me to many Los Angeles classrooms with teachers seeking to execute a wide range of ambitious and creative writing projects. Each time we have gone into the classroom, I have always been gladly impressed to see how intent and productive students can be when they see that they are receiving this additional support with their writing.
Interested in becoming an 826LA volunteer? Sign up for a Volunteering 101 Orientation session below: