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Congratulations to 826 Boston’s 2023 Volunteers of the Year! 

July 19, 2023

Headshots of 826 Boston’s two volunteers of the year. Yellow text on a blue background reads: 2023 Volunteers of the Year.

It’s that time of year again when we celebrate and acknowledge the incredible efforts of 826 Boston’s volunteers! This past school year, 286 unique volunteers completed 3,494 volunteer hours. These volunteers have tutored students, helped at events, and gone above and beyond to support 826 Boston’s mission of empowering young writers. 

To all the 826 Boston volunteers, thank you for all you do! We are so grateful to you all. 

Here are the recipients of the 2023 Volunteers of the Year and the Volunteer Superlative winners, along with what our team had to say about them.

Volunteers of the Year:

Brendan Alam: “Brendan (pictured right) truly knows everything—from biochemistry and immunology to pistachios and archaeopteryx dinosaurs. His passion for learning and endless patience make him a go-to for the most challenging student homework questions. He has a wonderful, student-centered approach, and his compassion when working with students is immeasurably appreciated. He shows up consistently for students, has a genuine care for their success, and has undoubtedly made a lifelong impact on their enjoyment and engagement in education.”

Huiyun Wang: “Huiyun (pictured left) has the answers to everything—from cell and molecular biology to video games, drawing, and purple Doritos. Huiyun’s compassion for students’ well-being mixed with her infinite talents, hobbies, and skills make her one of our most versatile tutors. She has exhibited incredible thoughtfulness and immense emotional intelligence when supporting students as they navigate everything from academics to bullying. She always shows up as her authentic self and is an inspirational mentor for everyone she works with.”

Superlative Awards:

Kameron Makras: Cartoon Character Energy 

“Kameron works at the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics & Science, but wants to become a school teacher. One of the high schoolers that Kameron works with commented that he ‘has cartoon character energy.’ He’s super easygoing and ready to crack a joke, and always makes our students feel at ease. This ease is in part because he doesn’t take himself seriously, but is serious about his work with students. He always does his best to support them, whether that means helping them de-stress and vent about a stressful situation or figuring out math alongside them.”

Simon Xie: Four Seasons Award for Year-Round Tutoring

“Simon gets this award for their willingness to do something for the first time and learn from it, and for their dedication to come volunteer after pulling an all-nighter to study for finals. Simon always asks great questions, comes in early, and is a huge help at publishing parties.”


Celia Jenkins: Commander of Construction Paper

“Celia developed an ‘appropriateness scale’ for a playlist, and always asked good questions. Celia also helped with craft projects.”

Esther Ogunbemi: Most Likely to be Complimented by a First Grader

“Esther has been part of the 826 Boston family since she was a young student attending tutoring sessions herself. Her kindness is felt deeply by all of the students she works with and first graders compliment her and request to work with her every week.”



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