Richard Wheelock is a storyteller through and through – the kind of person who likes to meet new and interesting folx in his everyday work. That’s part of why he loves working as the Volunteer Recruitment Specialist over at 826 Boston, as he explains, “826 attracts some really cool people – college students, grad students, professional writers, artists, scientists, teachers, musicians, retired folks – the list is endless! I love getting to know them and seeing them get excited about 826’s mission.”
But who exactly is 826 and what makes their mission so special?
One of our student workers, Sara Nagie, wrote a piece on them back in February, explaining that 826 “empowers traditionally underserved students ages 6-18 to find their voices, tell their stories, and gain communication skills to succeed in school and in life.”
They’re a group that provides a variety of programs to provide a creative arts education for students who might otherwise miss these opportunities to share their voice and their story.
For Richard, this is something that appeals greatly to his interests as his original passion for Emerson came from a desire “to meet other students who were also committed to writing as a career path.” The community and its many opportunities were what drew him in.He knows the power of finding like-minded artists from his time being involved with Concrete Literary Magazine and Stork Magazine where he met some of his best friends who would go on to improve his own writing and sense of storytelling.
Now he’s looking to bring that sense of belonging and artistic empowerment to more areas in Boston.
How did Richard get started with 826 Boston?
“I had interned with 826 Boston back in 2015, and volunteered for the following semesters. I knew I couldn’t leave Boston without becoming more involved with 826, so I applied for a number of their open AmeriCorps VISTA service positions. I had several backup plans in mind, but luckily, they offered me this position at the end of May!”
Richard leveraged his previous experience into a career with one of Emerson’s partner employers – something which should be noted for students looking to intern with any of our Internship Fair attendees!
What do his days look like?
“Currently, my time is split between working offsite at various recruitment events, creating communication materials for our volunteer corps, meeting with prospective volunteers at our center in Egleston Square, and planning future events and meetings with other members of the 826 team.”
What advice does he have for current students?
“Your professors and fellow students are resources. I could not have made the connections I did, or learned as much as I did, without seeking others’ help and guidance. Professors who give you A’s are also giving you permission to ask them for recommendation letters or references. Emerson students may be busy, but in my experience, none will be too busy to tell you about great internship and job opportunities. In fact, they’ll be happy to! ”