Meet our February Volunteer of the Month, Naomi Marcus

We just wrapped up one of our biggest tutoring projects of the year — the Young Authors’ Book Project — and feel so lucky to have had the support of so many amazing volunteers who made it all possible! One of those volunteers? Our February Volunteer of the Month Naomi Marcus, who has been a committed volunteer with us for over eight years (woah!). To learn more about what brought her to 826, and what keeps her coming back, read on.

Meet our February Volunteer of the Month, Naomi Marcus1. What is one of your favorite moments (memories, experiences or anecdotes!) from volunteering with 826 Valencia?

Some of my favorite moments are from last summer’s Young Authors’ Workshop in Mission Bay. I worked with kids from so many kingdoms: from Berkeley to Mongolia, helping them craft their writing. The polish and poise of the stories they wrote made it easy to work with them, I was just tinkering with the jewels!

2. What led you to become part of our volunteer community?

I started out volunteering at Personal Statement Weekend about 8 years ago, when I was still working full time. It was such a pleasure, and so practical, to help high school kids get the most out of their college applications. Words matter. So that led me to volunteering in the In-Schools programs, which is grand, as you get to work with kids over time. 

3. Given a choice of the three, which would you choose: pirates, pufferfish, or woodland creatures? Why?

Pirates. Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, High Wind in Jamaica: some of my favorite children’s literature.

4. What would we find you doing when not you’re not volunteering at 826?

In a pool, at Motown Monday, in the water dancing during aqua aerobics. Urban hiking around the Bay. In Big Sur where I was raised, visiting my 93-year-old mom still in the homestead on top of the mountain.

5. What is a piece of advice you would give a new 826 volunteer?

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Listen, listen, listen. Ask questions. Tutoring is not an exact science.  


Beyond being an all-star tutor, Naomi is also a writer — and you can find her piece about a type of writing that’s become (unexpectedly) special to her here. We feel so lucky to have such multifaceted volunteers, like Naomi, in our community.

If you, or someone you know, is  interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities, you can visit our website here.