Meet our summer 2019 interns

We welcome amazing interns every season, and an especially large and dedicated crew in the summer. This passionate group supports our students and staff in countless ways, and our summer programs wouldn’t function without them! So without further ado, meet the summertime faces of 826 Valencia.

Tenderloin Summer Programs

Nate Huntington was born and raised in San Francisco. When he’s not staying active by playing soccer or surfing, he enjoys hanging with friends, reading, and walking around. Over the past year he’s worked on a writing project exploring the relationship between colonialism and global soccer. He’s soon to be a junior at Claremont McKenna College, where he studies history.

 

 

 

Sam Solemnidad was born and raised in Richmond, CA. She is currently representing the Bay Area down in SoCal at the University of California Los Angeles, where she is double majoring in political science and Asian American studies. In her free time, Sam loves trying new foods, drinking boba, and napping (usually in that order). She also loves traveling and is saving up for a trip to her parents’ home country, the Philippines. She’s excited to be spending the summer with 826 Valencia and is looking forward to spreading her love of reading and writing to those around her!

 

 

Sara Braun was born and raised in Marin County, right outside of San Francisco. She is a rising senior at Washington University in St. Louis, where she is pursuing a major in political science and a double minor in sociology and writing. She’s always been an avid reader and writer, and has a strong interest in social justice. In her free time, you can find her making Spotify playlists, hiking, or eating dark chocolate. This summer, Sara is excited to spend time at 826 Valencia and learn about all of the ways that it gives back to the greater community.

 

 

Melody Reichard is returning to her California roots (wooowest coast, best coast!) after moving to the Midwest. She is a rising senior studying human development & psychological services at Northwestern University. In her free time, Melody enjoys hugging prickly things (such as cacti and hedgehogs), exploring new places (ten countries down, 185 to go), and debating Hogwarts houses (proud Hufflepuff!).  Melody looks forward to getting to know all the fantastic young authors at 826 this summer!

 

 

Will Salaverry grew up in Berkeley and now lives in the North Bay. He is a Sophomore at Yale University studying Sociology and Spanish and is involved with the Slifka Center for Jewish life as a community service fellow. Will has been singing a cappella music for five years and loves Bi-Rite ice cream. Will knows the power of representation and personal expression through writing; he has lived with a disability his whole life and has found so much value and acceptance through sharing his story on the page. Some of Will’s favorite books and most enthusiastic recommendations are Native Son by Richard Wright, Tradiciones Peruanas: El Mundo Picaresco de Ricardo Palma by Ricardo Palma and the entire Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. He is excited to spend time with engaged young students, writers, and visionaries this summer at 826.

Exploring Leadership Summer Camp

Julia Basnage is a rising junior at Barnard College in New York City, majoring in Sociology. Born in Philly, she has spent most of her life in the Bay Area and is excited to return for the summer to work with 826 Valencia! She loves working with young people of all ages—at Barnard, she works at a nursery center with toddlers—but she is especially looking forward to working with students with a better grasp of language than the three-year-olds. She has been working with students in her summers since 2015, and can’t wait to continue with the team at 826 Valencia.

 

 

Claire Daly is an Oakland native turned temporary French transplant, currently pursuing two BAs with UC Berkeley and Sciences Po in Reims, France. She loves animals, especially her dog, and worked for five years as an education volunteer at the Oakland Zoo. An avid museum-goer, she loves art and taking photos. She loves music and going to concerts, even though she canʼt dance. Claire is passionate about student activism and encouraging political involvement (make sure youʼre registered to vote!)

 

 

Khephra Shaw-Meredith just completed her first year at the University of California, Merced. She is super excited to be interning for 826 Valencia and to learn about professionalism and encouraging youth to be go-getters, especially when it comes to pursuing education.

 

 

 

 

 

Jagoda Rachwal is a rising senior at Northwestern University studying Learning Sciences and Critical Theory. She was born and raised in Chicago and started her first two years of college at City Colleges of Chicago. She is thrilled to be joining 826 Valencia and hopes to share her love for writing and meaningful identity development/recovery throughout her time this summer. In her free time, she loves watching food documentaries and thrifting books.

 

 

Exploring Words Summer Camp

Anuka Mohanpuhr is a rising senior at Berkeley High School. She has been tutoring at 826 Valencia since her freshman year and has enjoyed sharing her creativity and love for writing with students from the San Francisco school district. When she’s not tutoring, she serves as Communications Director for the California Association of Student Councils and as news editor of the Berkeley High student newspaper, the Jacket. She recently spent a year abroad and enjoys working with students whose native language is not English, since she knows firsthand how hard it is to express yourself in a language that is not (yet) your own. She also likes spending time outdoors, and hopes to visit all the national parks in the U.S one day. She is very excited to be working at 826 as an intern this summer!

Sarah Ceja is a Los Angeles native entering her junior year as a literature and Spanish major at Claremont McKenna College. Though she was born and raised in SoCal, her passion for education and working with children has brought her to San Francisco. When not at 826, Sarah enjoys writing, going to concerts, reading (especially poetry), discovering new music, and exploring all of the best places to eat near her. This summer, Sarah is super excited to be a part of the 826 team and become familiar with the beautiful Tenderloin community!

 

 

Sydney Vogl is an LA native who’s been living in the incredible city of SF for almost two years. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in psychology (and feeling completely lost), Sydney bought a one-way ticket to Bali. She spent the next eight months in Asia and Australia doing some serious soul searching. After returning home, one thing was for sure. Whatever came next had to include her one true love: writing. This fall, Sydney will start her MFA in creative writing at the University of San Francisco.

 

 

Samuele Esperon is a Filipino-American born in the Bay Area, and a fourth-year student attending UCLA. He studies bioengineering, and hopes to one day work in either the biotechnology field or education field. He enjoys watching shows on Netflix—one of his favorite shows is Street Food.

 

 

 

 

 

Olivia Roxas was born and raised in San Mateo and is a rising senior at Aragon High School. She has always loved storytelling; her childhood was filled with days of stapling together stories before handing them to librarians and re-reading the Harry Potter books until the spines cracked. She hopes to foster this same love of reading and writing with 826 students. In her free time, she can be found drinking too much boba, reading, swimming, winning every board game, or hugging her dog for too long.

 

 

Kate Swisher is a rising senior at Whitman College, a quirky liberal arts school in Walla Walla, WA. She grew up in Marin County, and attended high school in San Francisco. She studies English with a focus in creative non-fiction, and wants to explore the intersection of science and creativity. Her current project is a collection of essays on her dad and a genetic disease called muscular dystrophy. She enjoys passing time in bookstores, backpacking, songwriting, and making poetry-comics. She can’t express how happy she is to work alongside young creative writers and thinkers this summer.

 

 

April Hart was born and raised in San Francisco, and is charmed to be back home while interning at 826 this summer. She is usually in Southern California, where she is an American studies major at Pomona College focusing on literature, history, art, and contemporary culture. When she was a high school student, she first learned about 826 through volunteering with its programs at Buena Vista Horace Mann, the same school where she can be found through July. A big fan of reading and writing of all sorts, she fondly remembers the exuberant creativity of 826 students and writers, and can’t wait to work with them again.

 

Brenda Macario was born in Guatemala and raised in San Francisco. She attends Lewis and Clark college and majors in engineering with a minor in Latin American studies—but she’s open to pursuing other fields of study, too. During her free time she likes to hike, play saxophone, and free write. She is excited to build a strong relationship with the students she will be working with this summer. 

 

Young Authors’ Workshop

Emma Kantor recently finished her second year at Emory University, studying English/ Creative Writing and Film. She is passionate about both reading and writing, seeking story inspiration from the everyday world around her. In her free time, Emma enjoys swimming in the rain, drinking iced coffee, and having long phone conversations. Emma grew up across the Bay in Oakland and is so excited to join the team of dedicated people at 826 Valencia.

 

 

 

Hanna Kim was born and raised in San Francisco, and is entering her junior year at Scripps College in Claremont, California, where she is studying psychology and media studies. Hanna has always been deeply invested in education, ever since she tutored and taught at Summerbridge SF at her high school and witnessed firsthand the impact of one-on-one attention. She is excited to study abroad in Granada, Spain, where she will be in a Spanish immersion program!

 

 

 

Siri Gannholm was born in San Francisco and grew up in Seattle, WA. She just completed her first year at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, where she is planning to major in English and minor in Visual Studies. When she isn’t studying, Siri is either journaling, writing poems, or working on her screenplay. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys going out to brunch with her friends, attending concerts, and exploring the Bay Area.

 

 

 

Lauren Chan is a student of English and Religious Studies at Yale University, where she enjoys kaleidoscopic foliage in the fall and single-digit freezes in the winter – so her heart will always belong in the sunny Bay Area, where she was born and raised. Lauren gets excited about writing, theology, and a good cup of medium roast black coffee. Whether she’s working on a personal essay about faith or struggling through a crossword puzzle with friends, Lauren loves words and their power to reveal and refine truths we didn’t even know about ourselves. She can’t wait to experience the new worlds of words that 826 Valencia students will unlock this summer!

 

Sandhya Bhaskar currently lives in Orange County, and is excited to spend the summer in San Francisco. She is pursuing a BFA in Documentary Film at Chapman University, and enjoys creating social-issue based films. This summer, she’s looking forward to learning more about the nonprofit world and helping students engage with their creative sides. In her spare time, she can be found reading fiction novels, streaming Netflix, and curating playlists.

 

 

 

Hana Rivers was born and raised in the always-foggy Inner Richmond district of San Francisco. She is a rising senior at Barnard College majoring in English, concentrating in creative writing, and minoring in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. When she’s not immersing herself in the works of Asian American writers such as Alexander Chee and Ligaya Mishan, you can find her tearing it up at the rock climbing gym or eating a Taqueria El Buen Sabor burrito in Dolores Park. This summer, she’s thrilled to be able to apply her experience as a college writing tutor to a community of such creative and talented students!