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Spy of the Month

November's Spy

November's Spy

Spy of the Month

Spy of the Month

Agent Name

Danger Crane

Real Name

Samantha Crane

Agent Name

Danger Crane

Real Name

Samantha Crane

Samantha Crane

Samantha Crane

Congratulations, Spy! How does it feel?

This is an honor and it feels awesome!!!


How did you first get involved at 826CHI?

Learned about 826 while on a trip to San Francisco. When I heard there was a Chicago chapter I knew I wanted to be a part of it. Started volunteering on field trips then moved to tutoring.


What has been your favorite 826 experience so far?

Oh man, that’s tough, so many great moments. I really love the look on the kids faces when an idea hits them, so much excitement.


What do you do when you aren't working undercover?

I spend my days working at a gym, my evenings pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing, and in between you can usually find me in a comfy chair reading a book.

What's your favorite thing to write, or favorite style of writing?

I don't really have a favorite thing to write or a style I lean toward. I started out writing poetry and screenplays. I'm focused on fiction now and my genres are all over the place. Currently working on my first novel which is science fiction.


Being a writer yourself, do you have any advice for our student authors?

Write everyday, anything, something. Just write.


What's your favorite book, or, if you don't have a favorite, what book are you reading right now?

Oooh that's a tough question! Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer is a more recent novel I've loved, and Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng was amazing. I'd have to say my favorite of all time though is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.  Currently I'm reading The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day and it's pretty great. I could talk about books all day, but I'll stop here. :)

Our top agents always have the best codenames. What’s yours?

Crane, Danger Crane


Any words of wisdom for aspiring spies of the month?

Never leave your classified files at the donut store.

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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