GET INVOLVED

Introducing the Uptown Stories Small Job Squad.

As a young nonprofit, with a tiny (albeit mighty) staff, we genuinely need volunteer help.  However, we know how uncomfortable it is to commit to an open-ended, vague project.  So we’ve come up with a bunch of discrete, but essential ways you can volunteer to help.  Some of these jobs are completable, and others are on-going, but in either case we ask that you commit to your small job for at least three months.  Thanks to your support, we’ll be able to reach more young people uptown and help them discover their inner voices in a diverse community of writers.

Scroll through the current volunteer opportunities to see if there’s a job that’s right for you! Clicking any tile will redirect you to our sign-up form. We look forward to hearing from you!

AdWords Authority

Google gives us $10K in Google Ads each month. Xiaonan Jia helps us use that opportunity to spread the good word about Uptown Stories.

Xiaonan Jia
Bio

Xiaonan Jia is a marketing strategist, a design researcher, and a constantly curious storyteller. She believes in the power of good storytelling and promotes different formats of storytelling. Xiaonan can speak Chinese, English, Korean, and she is learning Dutch now.

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Anthologester

Joshua helps edit and layout the print anthology published at the conclusion of each semester.

Joshua Johnson
Bio

Joshua Johnson wears a lot of hats: writer, editor, designer, performer, and storyteller. Also hoarder of CVS receipts, but he is less proud of that one. Joshua has worked in a variety of roles in print and digital media, both in Arkansas where he attended college and in New York City where he now resides. On a typical Saturday you will find him out on the fire escape, reading a book and probably eating pizza. “Health guru” is not one of his many hats.

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Anthologester

The Anthologester helps edit and layout the print anthology published at the conclusion of each semester.

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Anthology Advisor

Karina teaches us the wonders of Adobe InDesign so we can publish our incredible anthologies.

Karina Granda
Bio

Karina Granda is an Art Director at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers where she designs Young Adult and Middle Grade novels, as well as the occasional Picture Book. She has worked on numerous New York Times bestsellers including The Folk of the Air series by Holly Black, Internment by Samira Ahmed, The Magic Misfits series by Neil Patrick Harris, Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch. When not making books, she likes to take walks around her Bushwick neighborhood, visit museums, watch reality TV, and read Yelp reviews for her next eating adventure. You can find her work at karinagranda.com.

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Bibliotrix

Do you secretly wish you were a librarian? Examine our current library and correctly categorize and organize our books. You would also solicit book donations from book publishers and literary agencies that represent middle grade and YA book authors.

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Biz Wiz

Do you live uptown and like talking to your local business owners? Help connect with folks who are interested in sponsoring a workshop or contributing to Uptown Stories.

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Data Detective

Katya helps analyze our registration tables, and communicates the trends in our program data in an accessible way.

Katya Johns
Bio

Katya Johns has always been enamored with communication of all types – be it written, visual or data. She graduated from Harvard with a B.A. in Government and English, which she combined in the pursuit of political journalism, before turning to the world of business and finance. A native New Yorker, uptown girl and wannabe writer, Katya found immediate resonance with Uptown Stories’ mission and model.

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DOE Diplomat

Help us communicate with your school’s administration, literacy teachers, PTA, and parent community.

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Exceptional Excerptor

Ellen selects excerpts from every student's published writing to share with online and with the wider Uptown Stories community.

Ellen Noonan
Bio

Ellen is a historian, educator, and media producer currently directing New York University’s master’s degree program in Archives and Public History. In her prior work at American Social History Project (based at the City University of New York), she designed and led professional development programs serving New York City public school social studies teachers, created and consulted on curriculum development projects, and developed digital projects for educators and the public. She served as supervising editor of the textbook Who Built America?: Working People and the Nation’s History, Volume One: To 1877 (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2008) and is the author of The Strange Career of Porgy and Bess: Race, Culture, and America’s Most Famous Opera (University of North Carolina, 2012). Her daughter Susannah is an avid participant in Uptown Stories workshops.

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Granter of Wishes

Emily's grant game is strong!

Emily Renne
Bio

As a young girl, Emily started writing stories on the backs of old holiday cards and never put the pencil down. Her long-term goals are to work in education and teach writing at the college-level. She spends the 9-5 workday as a project manager in the brisk world of advertising and works with ESL students at LaGuardia Community College on the side. Emily graduated from Ithaca College in December 2016 and moved to Astoria, Queens soon after.

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Granter of Wishes

As the granter of wishes, you will help us by writing a single grant to keep US going strong.

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Party Planner

Help organize special events like "Saturday Write Live," soliciting food and drink donations from local businesses and helping to run the party.

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Press Liaison

Communicate with local media and develop relationships, spreading the word about our pay-what-you-can program. Skills: excellent telephone and email etiquette, experience writing effective press releases

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Social Media Savant

Help find interesting content to share with our supporters on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, such as publishing opportunities, articles about writing, writing contests, book recommendations, and more.

Julianna Chang
Bio

Julianna is a lover of all things art, and is happy to be a helping hand at Uptown Stories.

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Sultan of Snacks

Help provide a balance of healthy and fun snacks for our hungry young writers. You'll solicit donations online from places like Costco and Fairway and help us get snacks from places we maybe haven't thought to ask.

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Traductora Habladora

Assuring all voices can be heard here at Uptown.

Natalie Legros
Bio

Natalie Legros is a Haitian-American native of Washington Heights. She started learning Spanish in middle school and went on to major in Spanish at Haverford College. (She also studied linguistics and Chinese.) She has translated for online newspapers, non-profit organizations, and media companies. In May, she will earn her Master’s degree in Translation from Kent State University. In her free time, she enjoys travelling, listening to music, baking, and being a foodie!

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Webcrawler

As our resident webcrawler, Laura updates and maintains our WordPress site.

Laura Ho
Bio

Laura is a freelance web developer based in New York. Her website is lauraho.work

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Wednesday
Worker Bee

Sade is a regular at our Wednesday work parties, and handles anything we throw at her!

Sade Boyewa
Bio

Sade Boyewa is a multimedia artist who lives and works in Harlem with her two kids. A native of Sweden and Nigeria, her colorful and vibrant collages based in photographs pay homage to her transnational and multicultural upbringing from around the world. Sade started her career as an Internationally Renowned Makeup Artist in the Television, Film and Print. In November 2018, Sade founded The Harlem PoP-Up Collective & The Harlem Flea, a hub for local artisans, creatives, designers and vendors from Harlem to share their goods and link with the community. Sade says of her work, “My ultimate goal is to inspire people, most of all children to look carefully at the world around them, beyond the obvious, to uncover all the beauty that exist in the most unusual and unexpected places.”

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Wednesday
Worker Bee

Emily is an incredibly helpful and pleasant person, who's willing to do whatever to assist us at Uptown.

Emily Chase
Bio

Emily loves a good question. Questions are what brought her to medical school, a Masters in Bioethics, and New York City. And questions are what brings her to a good story. Emily like to create words out of thin air- it’s almost like magic! She can’t wait to work for Uptown Stories and looks forward to meeting all of you!

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Wednesday Workerbee

Come to Wednesday Work Party. Every Wednesday from 10-4, we meet at the Cornerstone Center and get work done! Show up and we will give you a task for the day.

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Workshop Wizard

Sarah helps strengthen the voices of young writers in Girls Rising.

Sarah Yang
Bio

Sarah Yang is a senior at the Academies@Englewood in New Jersey. Originally born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, Sarah utilizes the duality and diversity in her multicultural identity throughout her writing, specifically her poetry, as ways to relearn herself and the world in different ways than before. Looking to major in literature in college, Sarah is passionate and continuously optimistic about writing’s power to defy and redefine.

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Workshop Wizard

Workshop wizards provide extra support to instructors in our creative writing workshops. Duties can include setting up workshop space and supplies, taking attendance, assisting students one-on-one or in small groups with their writing.They also take photos and videos during workshop, and assist with the preparation of student writing for the reading and anthology produced at the end of the semester.

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Workshop Wizard

Ben helps keep the young artists in our comics class inspired!

Ben Agrella
Bio

Benjamin Hughes Agrella graduated from the New Hampshire Institute of Art, with a BA in Fine Arts, majoring in Creative Writing. He has had years of experience crafting a versatile and expansive writing style; exploring fiction, articles, poetry, comics, surrealism and magical realism, as well as self-publishing. His main passion however is comic script writing, whether posting hand drawn work online, or collaborating with illustrators, Ben tries to keep his weeks busy with new ideas.

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Workshop Wizard

Gillian helps inspire exciting plots in our Elements of Fiction workshop.

Gillian Kalson
Bio

Gillian Kalson is a New York City native-creative with a passion for writing, and for teaching young people to become fearless storytellers. Gillian was a New York City Teaching Fellow and public high school ELA Teacher for two years. She finds helping students develop their talents as imaginative and creative writers of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry the most rewarding aspect of teaching. Gillian delights in seeing students’ confidence and self-esteem rise as they own the creative process and tap into their unique experiences, expressing their ideas freely and authentically. Gillian is a published writer of news articles, reviews, poetry, and essays and enjoys writing in the genres of science fiction, horror fiction, and fantasy fiction.  She earned her B.A. in Literature and Creative Writing from SUNY New Paltz and attended Brooklyn College for her M.A. in Secondary Education, English Teaching.

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Workshop Wizard

Daniel volunteers as an assistant teacher in our It's Your Thing workshop.

Daniel Ortega-Venni
Bio

Daniel Ortega-Venni is a freshman at Columbia College majoring in applied mathematics and creative writing. When he’s not fretting about schoolwork, he’s listening to epic orchestral music, reading Alice in Wonderland, watching The Amazing Race or writing fantasy stories.

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TESTIMONIALS

See what parents, teachers and students have to say about Uptown Stories.