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Spy of the Month

July's Spy

July's Spy

Spy of the Month

Spy of the Month

Agent Name

Agent Goldstar

Real Name

Kelly Parkhouse

Agent Name

Agent Goldstar

Real Name

Kelly Parkhouse

Kelly Parkhouse

Kelly Parkhouse

Congratulations, Spy! How does it feel?
I am so excited and thrilled to be Spy of the Month!

How did you first get involved at 826CHI?
I was searching for a volunteer opportunity which allowed me to support kids with their education and luckily I found 826CHI! I have been a volunteer for the past 3 months or so.

What has been your favorite 826 experience so far?
There are so many magical moments while working with kids, it’s hard to choose! I love my role as storyteller during the field trips, because I get to listen to and help shape some of the wonderfully imaginative ideas that are produced. I also love that each class create a completely different story -  dabbing unicorns, talking volcanoes, magical forcefields - children are the true storytellers and it’s such a privilege to be part of it all.

What do you do when you aren't working undercover?
When I’m not working undercover, I teach English to refugees and immigrants, support a school in India, sketch and learn Hindi.

Teaching English to refugees and immigrants, that's awesome! Can you tell us a bit more about that?
Sure! I am a volunteer teacher at the Indo-American Centre and at Madonna Mission.  Both offer free English classes to refugees and immigrants from all over the world. I have met some incredibly strong people and  feel lucky that I can support them in learning the most difficult language in the world!

Do you have a favorite subject to sketch?
I love to sketch architecture (not so much in the winter!) and am part of Urban sketchers Chicago. 

Our top agents always have the best codenames. What’s yours?
You can call me Agent Goldstar!

Any words of wisdom for aspiring spies of the month?
Make every moment count!

Our work together

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.

Our Work Together

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.  

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