Young people are just the smartest and weirdest people I know. They’re so creative at this age, and it’s the same time the world is starting to tell them it’s not OK to be weird. When we come in and tell them to be creative you see them light up with a nonstop stream of awesome ideas.

Bryce, Volunteer


Every month we honor an 826CHI volunteer who has gone above the beyond and beyond the above in their dedication to our organization. Read about this month’s Spy of the Month below.

July's Spies

Agent Name

826CHI Associate Board

Real Name

Rowan Beaird, Alissa Walkner, Gianna Canning, & Ian Law

ASSOCIATE BOARD: These secret agents all have one thing in common: they're the leadership team for our Associate Board! Ian is our Chair, Rowan is Vice-Chair, Alissa is Treasurer, and Gianna is Secretary.

ALL ABOUT STUDENTS: Each of these spies of the month treasure their experiences working with our students and seeing them succeed!

AWESOME: When these agents aren't under cover, they're doing the most amazing things, from snuggling dogs and biking around the city to writing short fiction and playing spikeball!



We have so many talented and enthusiastic writers every day at 826CHI and every month we highlight just one from any of our programs. Read about the current Writer of the Month below.

June's Writer

Agent Name

Innocent Bystander

Real Name


CHAPBOOK: This writer's favorite memory of 826CHI is our release party for our Teen Writers Studio chapbook This Is What It Feels Like to Exist which she is published in!

CATS: When she's an adult, Agent Innocent Bystander dreams of owning a book store that her cat can roam in.

CAMERA: This teen writer likes to take photos of gummy worms in weird places in her spare time!


Recent Writers of the Month


Alliances are essential to any secret agent’s success. That’s why we honor people and organizations as allies we can trust to make a gift, offer pro-bono services, or otherwise support our students. Read about a current alliance below.

Alliance Spotlight

Ace Hotel Chicago

Ace Hotel Chicago lives in a stoic, industrial building in the West Loop, once home to an Italian-American cheesemaking company. A monument to the city itself, Ace Chicago is honored to throw down roots in the Most Forward-Thinking City there is and to work alongside organizations who have long championed their communities.


Recent Alliance Spotlights

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Partnerships are central to our mission and 826CHI proudly collaborates with organizations serving youth across Chicago. Learn about the impact of a partner for which we are especially grateful.

Partner Spotlight

Chicago Public Library

In the past few years, 826CHI has partnered with the Chicago Public Library to support the ChiTeen Lit Fest. This annual event aims to provide a safe and creative space for young adults to unlock and discover their unique voice through literary arts. ChiTeen Lit Fest seeks to bring together young people from across Chicago and celebrate their talents as they express themselves through exceptional and honest art. Most recently, 826CHI has begun a series of lead-up writing workshops to raise awareness in branches throughout the city for the upcoming fest on April 26-27, 2019. 


Recent Partner Spotlights