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!

Wednesday Worker Bee

Queena Chong
Bio

Queena is a lifelong resident of Queens who loves to read. Her favorite books are The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, and Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. She volunteers at Uptown Stories as a Wednesday Worker Bee, making sure that everyone hears the buzz about our writing workshops!

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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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Summer Intern

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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Summer Intern

Zoey Gringlas
Bio

Zoey is a rising senior at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT., where she studies English and Hispanic Literature. During the year, when she is not writing, she spends her time working with non-native English speakers at a local Connecticut middle school and with students at a nearby prison through Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education. She is excited to combine her passions for both teaching and creative writing this summer with Uptown Stories, as she believes firmly in the ability of writing to promote growth and empowerment.

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Wednesday Worker Bee

We are looking for a responsible intern/volunteer to perform administrative and marketing tasks in our office. Mondays and/or Wednesdays from 10am - 3pm. Perfect for a college student interested in the inner workings of a nonprofit. Skills: internet savvy, FB, Twitter, IG, InDesign, Wordpress.

Data Detective

Cedilla creates materials that communicate the trends in our program data in an accessible way.

Cedilla Sachar
Bio

Cedilla Sachar is a data analyst and researcher with a background in social policy. She has a passion for using data—along with careful analysis and well-designed visualizations—to improve social services and make information more accessible for everyone. In her spare time, Cedilla enjoys learning eclectic trivia and can often be found indulging her curiosity on Wikipedia, TVTropes, and Google Scholar.

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Granter of Wishes

As the granter of wishes, Emily helps us by writing and submitting grants to keep us going 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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Editor Extraordinaire

Dina reads our students' work closely and provides helpful edits to polish their stories to a fine finish.

Dina Paulsen-McEwan
Bio

Dina Paulson-McEwen is a writer, editor, and educator. She is the author of Parts of love (Finishing Line Press, 2018). Other work appears in Flash Fiction Magazine, FlashFlood, Minola Review, Dying Dahlia Review, The Ham Free Press, The Hungry Chimera, and elsewhere and has been exhibited at Hudson Guild Gallery and San Juan Capistrano Library. She is the assistant managing editor at Compose | A Journal of Simply Good Writing and an editor at Flash Fiction Magazine. She collaborates with creative thinkers through her company, Aqua Editing, and she lives in Princeton, New Jersey. She is thrilled to join the Uptown Stories family and cannot wait to share the children’s stories with you!

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Marketing Magician

Help us conjure marketing campaigns.

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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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Fidget Finder

As our Fidget Finder, Shae finds ways for our students to think, create, write, and play better.

Shae Davidson
Bio

Shae Davidson has explored social and cultural history as a museum director and has taught history, literature, and public policy. His games have been used by counselors to help teens explore memories and experiences, as well as teachers in ESL and language arts courses. Shae grew up in West Virginia–where his family shaped his early love of games, folklore, and fiction–and currently lives in Illinois where he works at a school for students with learning differences.

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Sultan of Snacks

As Sultan of Snacks, you will help solicit stores and families for edible donations to keep our young writers energized and happy while they work.

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Facebook Aficionado

The Facebook Aficionado understands Facebook's algorithms, and helps us create and maintain ads and donations campaigns.

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MailChimp Maestro

Bryan maximizes our Mailchimp use so we can reach more people with quality news about our program.

Bryan Simkus
Bio

Bryan graduated from Auburn University with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in business, which he used as a human resource professional before switching gears to become a web developer. Off the web, he enjoys attending concerts and sporting events.

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Data Detective

Katya examines, cleans, and transforms our data to help us discover useful program information, draw conclusions, and support our decision-making.

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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Ringleader

You'll assist Uptown Stories writers in entering the Scholastic writing awards.

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Biz Wiz

You can help us connect with local business who are interested in sponsoring a workshop or helping US out in another way.

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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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Anthologester

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

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Bibliotrix

The bibilotrix stocks the student library and solicits donations from individuals and corporate book grants.

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SEO Sorcerer

Take up residence on the backend of our site conjuring web traffic with Google AdWords and SEO best practices.

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Editor Extraordinaire

Amanda is on hand to read our students' work closely and provide helpful edits to polish their stories to a fine finish.

Amanda Orozco
Bio

Amanda Orozco graduated from UCLA with a degree in Physiological Science and a minor in English. She is currently a student at NYU, studying for her Master’s of Science in Publishing. While a student, she also works as an Editorial Assistant at ACLS Humanities E-Book and interns with the National Book Foundation. A Los Angeles native, Amanda is adjusting to the below-60-degree weather and is learning to love the city. She aspires to one day work as an editor at a publishing house.

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Photoshop Phinisher

Téa uses her photoshop wizardry to polish our students' comics so they look beautiful in our print anthology.

Téa Kvetenadze
Bio

Téa was born and raised in New York City. She is currently a rising junior at New York University; unfortunately, her acceptance letter to Hogwarts was lost in the mail. She lives with her mother and three pets: Maniuiok and Rocky Raccoon, who are cats, and Michael, who is her human twin.

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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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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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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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TESTIMONIALS

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