Meet David Brownell: May Volunteer of the Month

We’ve chosen longtime volunteer and exceptional after-school tutor David Brownell as our volunteer of the month! Read about our May Volunteer of the Month in his own wise words:

I have always enjoyed working with children. Becoming a parent gave me the chance to work with my own daughter and her classmates from daycare through elementary school. At Jean’s daycare center, some of the caregivers were from the “Foster Grandparent” program, and I said to myself, “I want to do that some day.” My involvement there led to five years on the board of that childcare center and to being co-chair for three years of a major fundraiser.  Once Jean was in school, I became a hyperactive volunteer. That led to working for ten years for another parent in that weird world: the textbook industry. Read more about David.

In 2005, I began volunteering two afternoons a week in the after-school program at 826 Valencia. I’ve had a great deal of fun working with the kids and a lot of pleasure in watching them grow up. Two girls I’ve worked with since they were in fifth grade are heading off to college next fall. I’m very proud of them, and of many other kids I’ve worked with.

I’ll add a few other facts about myself. I’m about to go east to attend my fiftieth reunion at Harvard. I was there as an undergraduate, and again as a graduate student, earning a Ph.D. in English and American literature. After teaching awhile, I followed my wife’s career to San Francisco. (She was a theatrical lighting designer, specializing in dance lighting.) I worked for some time as a freelance writer, publishing quite a few short books; then I worked as a freelance editor, dealing with whatever came along. I had fun being a copy editor for Red Herring Magazine during the dot-com boom: everyone should be part of a boom once in a lifetime (but only once).

Getting back to children, my grandson is heading toward his third birthday. I look forward to seeing him reach the age of the kids I’ve worked with at 826 Valencia.