826CHI is currently seeking applicants for a Programs and Recruitment Coordinator and a Field Trips Coordinator. We sat down with Molly Sprayregen, an intern-turned-staff member, to chat about her 826CHI programs experience before she moves on from her role.
1. What brought you to 826CHI, and how long have you been here?
I came to 826CHI as a programming intern in 2014. As a writer who loved working with students, I was drawn to the organization for its incredible mission and the way it presents writing as fun, energetic, and empowering. As an intern, I assisted with the field trips and loved helping out so much that when my internship ended, I continued to volunteer until a role opened up to become the field trips lead.
2. What's one achievement you've accomplished here that you're particularly proud of?
I am so proud of the two new field trips I created during my time at 826CHI, the STEAM Field Trip, DNA and Superheroes: The Ultimate Origin Story, and the Social/Emotional Learning Through Poetry Field Trip, Mission: Poetry. The students really enjoy them, and I love to lead them! It’s so much fun to help students extract DNA from strawberries and to take the students on a poetry-writing mission to help Agent Admiral Moody!
3. Can you describe a favorite day you've had on the job?
Wow, how can I pick just one day! I felt like every single field trip was unique and special. It didn’t matter how I was feeling that morning or if I had gotten a lot of sleep the night before; the moment a class arrived, their smiles, energy, and enthusiasm brought me so much joy. It was such a gift to hear their stories every day. I don’t think I could pick just one.
4. What is something you're going to miss about 826CHI?
I am going to miss the energy, silliness, and creativity of our amazing students. Every day, I felt so lucky to work in a position where I got to help students write about subjects like slices of pizza that own sushi restaurants and hot dogs with wings that ride wolves. The students never ceased to amaze me with their imagination and storytelling abilities.
5. Do you have any advice for candidates applying to work in programs at 826CHI? What disposition and expectations should this person bring to their work?
Prepare to be energetic and silly! And always bring a cup of coffee to heat up mid-program. It’s a lifesaver.
6. What’s next for Molly Sprayregen?
While I am so sad to be leaving 826CHI, I am very excited for my next adventure, freelance writing full time! Look out for my articles on Forbes.com, Medium, Culture Trip, The Associated Press, New City, and more.
Are you interested in joining the 826CHI programs team? Find out more about our open positions here.