It is our pleasure this month to celebrate the incomparable Edmund Cavagnaro, a volunteer whose contributions to our programming have been nothing short of staggering. Ed started out as a regular tutor in our summer programs in 2015, and went on to dedicate himself to the Straight-Up News at Everett Middle School, Mission Magazine at Mission High, and the 2016 Young Authors’ Book Project at John O’Connell High School— all high-intensity publishing projects. Ed is also a staple tutor in several of our Tenderloin programs, and in fact used his expertise as a radio producer to help us shape and launch our Tenderloin Podcasting Field Trip program. On top of all of that, Ed has also helped to plan and lead several podcasting workshops for high school students at our Mission Center, and taken it upon himself to edit the final products. Needless to say, when Ed was brought up as a nominee for Volunteer of the Month, staff lined up to sing his praises! One such staff member raved, “I can hardly express how much we appreciate Ed. Whenever emergency cancellations come up, I often reach out to Ed to seek his support. More often than not, he is happy to come pitch in, even if it’s last minute, no questions asked.” Another shared, “He is such an inspiration, and was such an integral part of our TL programming last year. No matter where he was, the students loved him.”
Here’s Ed, in his own words:
“After 35-plus years as an editor, producer and news director at KCBS, the Bay Area’s all news radio station, I decided to take a break from the demands of a 24/7 news operation. Since I enjoy editing (text and audio) as much as writing and love working with youth, volunteering at 826 Valencia was a natural next step. Being involved in students’ accomplishments, both little and big, and learning from 826′ incredible staff has been rewarding and fun. I’ve also noticed that there’s a lot to learn from middle-schoolers and high-schoolers as well.”
Ed was born in San Francisco and grew up on the Peninsula. He studied history and journalism at UC Berkeley and then journalism at Northwestern University, which included the opportunity to file his first radio reports from Washington, D.C. for stations in Omaha, Salt Lake City and Springfield, Missouri. Ed’s interest in audio storytelling continues post-career with volunteering at Oakland’s Youth Radio in addition to 826 Valencia, and he’s excited about helping out with the new 826 podcasting field trips. Ed lives with his wife Barbara in San Francisco and enjoys hiking, backpacking and other travel, eating out and cooking in, photography, golf, and now most of all, spending time with his 18-month old granddaughter Mia.
We can’t thank you enough, Ed, for the amazing work you do!
Read more about our previous Volunteers of the Month.