826 Boston Volunteers of the Year are truly exceptional tutors who have gone above and beyond to support students and help them find their voices. Each winner is nominated by our staff members and celebrated at our annual volunteer appreciation event.

Jump to: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017

2021 Volunteers of the Year

Toni Czekanski

Toni Czekanski Toni has been volunteering since 2018 and has been an incredible support during remote tutoring this year, regularly volunteering with The BINcA Writers’ Room, Young Authors’ Book Project, and College Essay Boot Camp. Toni is a warm, engaging tutor who has shown up consistently to BINcA sessions every year. Whether she was helping on senior capstones, formulating incredible college essays, or assisting with our publication projects, Toni brought kindness, empathy, and care that made students feel at ease. She’s deserving of this award and is such an incredible educator!


Nicole Hester

Nicole HesterNicole Hester joined our team as an intern with the Burke Writers’ Room in the fall and returned for a second semester this spring. As an intern, Niki has been a vital part of the Burke Team, supporting students during class visits, and creating and facilitating a workshop this spring. Niki also regularly supported other Writers’ Rooms and engaged regularly with intern professional development sessions and networking events. Niki was one of the strongest interns at the Burke. From the beginning of her internship, she had ease connecting to the students and building authentic relationships. She continued to step further by creating and developing a workshop focused on self-identity and empowerment for girls. Overall, Niki has been a huge asset to the Burke Team and we as a team have been proud of her work!


2020 Volunteers of the Year

Claudio Ribiero
Sabrina Diaz


2019 Volunteers of the Year

Mimi Curran
Elkan Gamzu


2018 Volunteers of the Year

Jonathon Rowe
Barbara Sheffels


2017 Volunteers of the Year

Levi Rubeck
Christopher LaFortune

Every month our team nominates and votes on our Top Researcher—a tutor who has put in the extra effort to support 826 Boston students and their studies (and supported our studies of the ever-elusive Bigfoot!). Here’s a list of past Top Researchers. Who knows—maybe you’ll be next!

Jump to: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

School Year 2021–22 Top Researchers

March 2022 – Seke Bangudu

Seke Bangadu

Seke’s favorite 826 Boston memory: “Coaching seventh and eighth-grade students in their STEM research paper preparation, to compete in the 76th Boston Public Schools Science & Engineering Fair. It was memorable to see the students apply their motivation, subject matter and audience engagement skills, when exchanging role play between each other as presenters and listeners.”


February 2022 – Adalyn Schommer

Adalyn Schommer

Adalyn’s favorite 826 Boston memory: “One of the students I worked with was an avid reader, and so, when she was done with her work, we would sit and read our own books and have a little book club after, where we would talk about what we had read. It was really great to see how she thought about the books she read and the world at large!”



January 2022 – Natalie DeLaCruz

Natalie DeLaCruz

Natalie’s favorite 826 Boston memory: “I was volunteering in the EMK Writers’ Room and the students that I had been working with for a few sessions saw me as they were coming in and ran to give me a hug! It showed me how excited they were to see me and it was such a pure moment!”


November 2021 – Brendan Alam

Brendan Alam

Brendan’s favorite 826 Boston memory:
“A student and I had been working on math and chemistry for a semester; however, I could always tell it wasn’t his passion. I asked him about what sort of writing he enjoyed, and he shared his DnD (Dungeons and Dragons) character sheets with me. Reading over his characters and exploring his creative and imaginative side taught me so much about him and what he loves.”


October 2021 – Lynne Mooney Teta

Lynne Mooney Teta

Lynne’s favorite 826 Boston memory:
“When I first opened the door of 826 Boston, I was confused and intrigued. Once I crossed into the back room and felt the energy, warmth, and creativity of the After-School Tutoring program, I was hooked!”


School Year 2020–21 Top Researchers

June 2021 – Jake Hargrove

May 2021 – Liza Uthgenannt

April 2021 – Nicole Hester

March 2021 – Kevin Hassenfratz

February 2021 – Jeanne Segal

December 2020 – Katia Mathews

November 2020 – Emmanuel (Manny) Chalumeau

October 2020 – Suzanne Begly


School Year 2019–20 Top Researchers

May 2020 – Cristian Piraneque

April 2020 – Claire Brislin

March 2020 – Jake Grossman

February 2020 – Marguerite (Peggy) Yee

January 2020 – Cate Burke

December 2019 – Sabrina Diaz

November 2019 – Lynnette Ramsay

October 2019 – Lynn Rosenbaum

September 2019 – Virginia Hoeck


School Year 2018–19 Top Researchers

June 2019 – Erin Sunderland

March 2019 – Pam Rosenberg

December 2018 – Jack Nedell And Yassmeen Youssef

November 2018 – Ceci Menchetti

October 2018 – Forest Hallee

July 2018 – Charleen Kress


School Year 2017–18 Top Researchers

June 2018 – Andrea Vayda

May 2018 – Matthew Bancroft

April 2018 – Fabienne Dessalines

March 2018 – Carina and Monica Christo

February 2018 – Kryanna Wallace

January 2018 – Louise Herman

December 2017 – Kaleem Ahmid

November 2017 – Carolyn Megan

October 2017 – Catherine Byun

September 2017 – Anita Diamant

August 2017 – Katherine Gross

July 2017 – Toni Czekanski


School Year 2016–17 Top Researchers

June 2017 – TiElla Grimes

May 2017 – Maria Jerez

April 2017 – Anneli Hershman and Juliana Nazaré

March 2017 – Katie Bayerl

February 2017 – Barbara Sheffels

January 2017 – Kevin Walker

December 2016 – Mimi Curran

November 2016 – Michelle Chen

October 2016 – Vincent Huang

September 2016 – Maura Fertich


School Year 2015–16 Top Researchers

May 2016 – Lauren Rubenzahl

April 2016 – Rachel Schowalter

March 2016 – Fiona Vidal-White

February 2016 – Christopher LaFortune

October 2015 – Marissa Simoes

August 2015 – Ethan Koss-Smith


School Year 2014–15 Top Researchers

June 2015 – Kara Daniels and Alexandra Patch

May 2015 – Katherine Rooks, Judy Bolton-Fasman, Nancy Butman, Suzanne Bailey-Hererra, Mimi Curran, and Oliver Farnum

November 2014 – Garth Brody


School Year 2013–14 Top Researchers

May 2014 – Gizmo Sangco

April 2014 – Rachel Bergquist

February 2014 – Rachel Greenberg

August 2013 – Emily Millman and Tareen D. Wimbish

July 2013 – Jay Cook


School Year 2012–13 Top Researchers

June 2013 – Ben Smith

May 2013 – Jeryn Warren

April 2013 – Yeab Minas

December 2012 – Debbie Clemens

November 2012 – Matthew King

September 2012 – Ryan Lambert

August 2012 – Jesse Moskowitz

July 2012 – Lindsey Warriner and Danny Cairns


School Year 2011–12 Top Researchers

June 2012 – Wali Hassan

May 2012 – Perrine Marcenac

April 2012 – Alex Greenberg

March 2012 – Emily Eisenhauer

February 2012 – Brent Lowder

January 2012 – Daniel Moss

December 2011 – Nancy Butman

November 2011 – Johnny Sadoff

October 2011 – Kenneth Love Villar

September 2011 – Tianna Tagami

August 2011 – Katrina Grigg-Saito

July 2011 – Rodrigo Garcia


School Year 2010–11 Top Researchers

June 2011 – Brandon Abbs

May 2011 – Continuum

March 2011 – Sophia Ezomoghene

June 2010 – Ali Reid


Frame design credits:

Map, Notebook, Scribbles,
Designed by Freepik

Wooden Texture for Background
Designed by Lyashenko / Freepik

These and all other elements arranged by Andria Warren.

Every spring, 826 Boston staff and service members nominate standout volunteers for special superlatives. These superlative awards celebrate the unique personalities, talents, and strengths of each volunteer tutor! Read more about each winner below.

Jump to: 2021 | 2020 | 2019

2021 Volunteer Superlative Winners

Tom Gagen: Captain Capstone

Roberta Gianfortoni: Most Likely to Be a Digital Mastermind

Jenn De Leon: The Giving Tree

Mia Merchant: Digitally Dynamic

Jeanne Segal: Most Likely to Sing During Tutoring

Bill Stephenson: Most Likely to Remain Calm, Cool, and Collected in the Face of Technical Difficulties


2020 Volunteer Superlative Winners

Abby Jiminian: Most Likely to Be Complimented by a 5th Grader

Antoinette Czekanski: Most Charming Volunteer

April Wang: All-Around Volunteer

Beth Hester: Ms. Versatility

Bill Stephenson: Calm, Cool, and Collected

Claire Brislin: All Star

Daven McQueen: Lightyear Award

Derek Miller: Most Earnest Volunteer

Finn Craddock: Most Patient Volunteer

Haleigh Roy: Best Jester

Jill Gallagher: Star Supporter

Juan Molina: Mr. Versatility

Leonidas Acosta: Most Compassionate Volunteer

Lexi Frost: BTU Students’ Biggest Fan

Lisa Pred-Sosa: Most Likely to Teach Us a Thing or Two

Matthew Tung: Bigfoot’s Number One Fan

Queen Wade: Most Inquisitive

Tom Gagen: Super Trooper


2019 Volunteer Superlative Winners

Kevin Oodo: Most Traveled

Ceci Menchetti: The Extracurricular All-Star

Pam Rosenberg: Always On-Call

Monica Christo: All in the Family

Gabby Christo: All in the Family

Carina Christo: All in the Family

Jen Dever: Driving the Extra Mile

Lynnette Ramsay: Renaissance Woman

“I really appreciated

the opportunity to work with 826 Boston even just a few hours each week…It was the most meaningful thing I did in this semester.”

– Ailin, After-School Tutoring Volunteer