What’s your favorite book and who is your favorite author?
If I'm being honest, choosing my favorite book depends on when you ask me because in some ways every book I read leaves a different kind of feeling. Right now, my favorite book is Children of Blood and Bone. I finally got the chance to read it after a year of it being on my reading list and it was such a good read. I don't have a doubt about my favorite author, though: Cinda Williams Chima. She writes fantasy novels and she also wrote my favorite book series, The Seven Realms, I've read it around three times and every time it's been amazing.
Do you have any special hobbies or talents?
Well... I used to play the piano, but in these past two years I've focused mainly on writing. Would filling up journals count as a hobby?
What is your favorite thing about writing?
My favorite thing about writing is all the freedom you have. There are no limits in what you can create or imagine. Another thing would be the feeling of hearing someone say that your writing made them feel something. It's just, so fulfilling to know that your words reached the heart of another person that might not even know you personally.
What’s your favorite memory of 826CHI?
As of right now, I think I don't have a favorite memory but rather many. Most of my favorites involve recommending or talking about books with the others and hearing what others wrote for a prompt.
What is your favorite piece that you've written at 826CHI?
My favorite piece is a poem titled "You're Welcome" that talks about passing immigration at the airport.
Do you have writing advice for other students?
I do! One of the main things I've learned is that there is no right way to write, but it does help to have certain times in which you know you're gonna be writing. Adding on, don't edit or revise while writing your first draft because it gives way to unnecessary stress before you've even finished telling the story! Writing and revising are two totally different processes.
What do you want to do when you’re an adult?
Lately I've started to take interest in film and writing for the screen, so I'm thinking of possibly working in that industry as a screenwriter, but nothing's certain. I would also like to do social work via art. Either way, I definitely want to keep writing.
What’s something else you want the world to know about you?
I don't know really. I guess one thing would be that I want to help people with my art and art in general.
If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
If I could go anywhere tomorrow... I would go to somewhere warm. It doesn't matter the place, just somewhere that's warmer than here in Chicago cause this cold is really exhausting.
Our 826 Day event on the roof of Ace Hotel Chicago was a beautiful celebration of our community from our donors to our students and everyone in between (pictured above is 826CHI supporter TASHA’s performance). Our book P.S. You Sound Like Someone I Can Trust was available in the hotel’s suites, Ace Hotel Chicago has hosted our annual love-themed print show featuring work by local artists inspired by our students writing on love, and their Senior Sales Manager, Tenasha Wilcoxon, spoke to our students in After-School Tutoring & Writing’s Speakers & Snacks series about what it’s like to work at a hotel.
The partnership between East Village Youth Program and 826CHI is a yearly collaboration to help students achieve their goal of being accepted into their college of choice and for many to be the first in their family to attend college. This fall, 826CHI staff and 12 volunteers worked with 13 high school seniors on their personal statements for college applications. The partnership continues in the Spring when 826CHI and volunteers will return to EVYP to support students as they apply for scholarships.