Meet our summer interns

Every summer, we welcome a new cohort of amazing interns to our ever-expanding 826 family, and this season, we’re thrilled to count on many dedicated folks to help advance our mission and support our students in their academic journeys. Meet the new faces of 826 Valencia and feel free to say hi when you bump into them in one of our centers.

Elisa Cooney-Urrutia is a San Francisco native, entering her junior year at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, majoring in Spanish and anthropology and hoping to complete a minor in education. She’s always loved to play soccer, but two ankle surgeries forced her out of the college team. When not at 826, she enjoys watching her favorite teams play soccer (Real Madrid and the Spanish National), exploring different cultures and countries, traveling to visit her family in Madrid, reading a good book—or re-reading Pride and Prejudice—and searching for new restaurants.
Keishi Foecke decided that she wanted to be a teacher even before second grade. Always deeply invested in education, she became aware of 826 Valencia when tutoring at a KIPP school in St. Louis, where she experienced first-hand how impactful one-on-one tutoring can be. She is currently pursuing a degree in anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, where she not only discovers new interests every day but also struggles with the Midwestern humidity. She feels fortunate to spend this summer at the whimsical and wonderful 826 Valencia, but in her spare time, you can find her playing soccer, hiking, listening to crime podcasts, watching TED talks, or eating breakfast foods (regardless of the time of day).
Diego Frankel is a Berkeley native studying art history and philosophy at the University of Southern California. Of all the uses for writing, the most important one for Diego is the ability to express in words what someone else can’t, or hasn’t yet– those passages that make you jump and scream “That’s me!” In his free time, Diego can be found playing ultimate frisbee, attempting to improve his drawing skills, or turning a simple errand into an hours-long hike.
Bradford Jackson is a fabulous hummingbird transplant from Oklahoma City who landed in the Bay Area in 2006. Since then, he has graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Communication Studies and is now focusing on education by facilitating learning and activism. Bradford joined 826 to reconnect with his passions, which include artful storytelling, photography, writing, and social justice. He plans to attend graduate school with the hopes of becoming more involved with educational and community development nonprofits. In his free time, he can be found at a park eating berries and drinking juice basking in the California sunlight.
Anna Kate is a proud Texan who is excited to explore San Francisco this summer. The oldest of five girls, she grew up with a love of reading, writing, and directing playtime. Memorable projects from these early years include a biopic of young Martha Washington portrayed by American Girl dolls and her sisters. Now, she can be found fiddling with crossword puzzles, taking her dog to the park, dropping Simpsons references, and compelling friends and family to become fans of John Mulaney. This summer, Anna Kate hopes to encourage 826 students in fostering enthusiasm and creativity in their writing!
Nataly Espinoza Madrid was born and raised in San Francisco to a Salvadorian mother and a Nicaraguan father. Growing up, Nataly struggled with writing and reading, but with the help of a few amazing teachers, she was able to catch up and be where she is today. With that in mind, she has always wanted to give back to students in appreciation for what those teachers did for her. She currently attends the University of California, Merced where she is an incoming sophomore in the History Department. In her free time, she likes to read, listen to music, and binge-watch all the shows that catch her attention like Game of Thrones.
Mariluz Maldonado was born and raised in San Francisco. She is currently majoring in Japanese and minoring in linguistics at San Francisco State University. In her spare time, she enjoys driving down the coast while listening to Utada Hikaru, Miki Matsubara, and Big Bang. She is also a boba milk tea enthusiast and is always excited to try a new spot. In the future, she would like to travel throughout the world to indulge in various types of food and has plans to improve generational and cultural dialogue by providing interpretive services to adults and teaching English to non-native speakers.
Kathy Nim was born in South Sacramento, California. She is grateful to have been raised in a diverse community and into a family who taught her to be proud of her Chinese and Vietnamese heritage. She’s currently in her senior year at UC Santa Cruz, where she’s majoring in community studies and minoring in education, with the hopes to one day be a teacher or a counselor. In her free time, she likes to write and play with her pets—she has three dogs and a cat! This summer, Kathy is super excited to be a part of the 826 team and give back to the beautiful Tenderloin community.
Marc Huerta Osborn studies English literature at Stanford University and pursues creative writing in his free time. He believes in the power of storytelling to help us figure out what’s real, what’s wrong, what’s right, what hurts, and what makes our hearts full. To him, stories equal solidarity, and he spends a lot of time scheming about how to tie the world of written words to real-life material outcomes for historically marginalized communities. When not writing, you can found him listening to hip-hop, basking in the sun, or kicking back with old friends.
Natalia Rocco moved to San Francisco to escape the unbearable heat of Stockton, California. She is an incoming senior at the University of San Francisco, pursuing a degree in English literature. Natalia is the Senior Editor of USF’s literary journal, the Ignatian, where she fell in love with the intimacy of small press publications. After graduating, she hopes to become part of such a publication so that she can read and discover a plethora of work from emerging writers. She is excited to work with such writers in her time at 826 and to help them explore the literary world.
Angelina Sideris hails all the way from Europe. Born and raised in Germany, she lived for many years in Vienna, where she worked at the Zoom Children’s Museum, and also as a trainer, counselor, and coach in the educational business. But after some time there, Angelina was ready for a new adventure and decided that San Francisco was the most interesting and diverse place to start. This summer, she brings her experience to 826 Valencia, where she is improving her English alongside students by exploring the mysteries of the writing world together.
Isabel Steckel—you can call her Issy—was born and raised in Berkeley, California, and is a rising senior at Wesleyan University. During this Connecticut fling, Issy is pursuing a degree in the College of Letters: an interdisciplinary major for the studies of philosophy, history, and literature, with a concentration in Italian. In her free time, you might find her running up hilly trails, buried in books for her honors thesis on the epistemology of metaphor, or perfecting her homemade ravioli recipe. She is continuously inspired by the imagination and creativity of 826 students and is thrilled to be part of the summer team!
Olive Tambou was born in Cameroon but has called San Francisco her home since 2006. She just completed her first year at Macalester College in Minnesota, with interests in studying psychology and working with students. In her free time, she loves to play softball and go on camping trips. Her favorite spot in San Francisco is the Crissy Field because it’s a big green open space with lots of fun things to do. She is super jazzed about working with students at 826 as well as learning all about the incredible impact 826 Valencia has in the Bay Area.
Kerry Taylor is a rising sophomore at Scripps College where she studies English. She loves writing and making art, but she’s discovered that her very favorite thing is helping others through the process of self-expression, so she thinks she might work as an editor or a teacher someday. In her free time, you can find her writing outside coffee shops, convincing people to come to Salt & Straw with her, drawing large portraits, or going to concerts with her siblings. This summer, she could not be more thrilled to be working at an organization as amazing as 826!
Ryan Tuozzolo was born and raised in San Francisco, a city that she holds dear to her heart. She just finished her first year at UC Berkeley, where she is studying English and writing for the Arts and Entertainment department of the Daily Cal (free concerts!). She is thrilled to be at 826 Valencia, working with a remarkable group of staff and interns, and overjoyed to get some copyediting and audio-editing practice. Ryan hopes to one day have the confidence to title her first novel A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and feels that working with 826 is a promising step towards this goal.
Caroline Woods-Mejia was born and raised in Berkeley, California. She is a recent graduate of UC Santa Cruz, where she studied literature with a concentration in creative writing and published her own poetry chapbook. She has a favorite pen for writing poems and will not let anyone borrow it (don’t even ask!), but you can definitely borrow her favorite poetry book, TwERK. In her free time, Caroline enjoys painting pottery, collecting crazy socks, and eating brunch in places all around the Bay Area.


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