Louise Shultz first discovered 826 Valencia when she read a newspaper article encouraging people to volunteer for our Personal Statement Weekend, a weekend-long tutoring event which enlists the help of over 150 caring adutls to support college-bound high schoolers as they write and revise the all-important college admissions essay.
“I just thought it was the greatest idea,” Louise shared. “I loved working with those students during such a critical time of their high school career.”
She always liked writing and enjoyed her tutoring experience, so after experiencing the Personal Statement Weekend, Louise decided to invest more of her time volunteering at 826. She’s been a dedicated In-Schools volunteer since 2011, and every year since then she has supported our annual Young Authors’ Book Project.
When asked to recall her favorite 826 memory, Louise states, “The Young Authors’ Book Project is a yearly cherished memory for me. During the first year I tutored for that project we worked with International High School. Those students had only been in the U.S. for three years or less and it was incredible to hear their stories. 826 sets high expectations and the kids always meet and exceed those expectations. The books that come out of the Young Authors’ Book Project are just so beautiful. It’s such a rewarding experience for both the tutors and for the students.”
As a retired public high school teacher, Louise values the time spent working one-on-one with students.
“For me, it’s always about getting really close to the kids. Working one-on-one is so successful because there’s just no better way to really get to know kids. They often write about their lives and reveal very personal narratives. Working with the students here at 826 has been so thrilling. I’m constantly in the company of kids who are anxious to learn.”
When Louise is not dedicating her time at 826 Valencia, she takes painting classes at Glen Park, does yoga, and most recently has become a student of creative writing at the Bernal Heights Library. She enjoys writing poetry and is currently crafting personal essays about her early life in San Francisco when she and her husband lived in their first house in 1968, paying $81 a month for rent.
To read about all of our featured volunteers, visit the Volunteer of the Month gallery.
Photo by Seth Golub.