The 826 National Team

Tierra Alston-Johnson

Development & Impact Associate AmeriCorps VISTA

Tierra is a KIPP alumna with a BA in Communication Studies from Elizabeth City State University. Born and raised in rural NC, she spent a semester in the Disney College Program at WDW in Orlando. She’s a self-proclaimed womanist who loves writing, sweet tea, and Paul Laurence-Dunbar.

Maggie Andrews

Director of Development

One of 826 Boston’s earliest after-school tutors, Maggie brings more than a decade of national fundraising experience to 826 National. She is dedicated to supporting organizations that serve youth and contribute to a vibrant, equitable community. A native Pennsylvanian, Maggie now happily resides in Oakland, CA.

Laura Brief

Chief Executive Officer

Prior to 826 National, Laura held leadership positions at high achieving youth organizations including Build, First Graduate, Juma Ventures, and The Posse Foundation, where she developed the organization’s first national career, corporate engagement, and alumni programs. She holds a Master’s in Education and a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University, and is the Chair of the Board of Directors at Youth Speaks.

Lauren Broder

Director of Research & Evaluation

Lauren received her Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut where she conducted research on the effects of early childhood experiences on later development. She brings a strong background in statistical analysis, research writing, and data management, as well as five years of teaching at the collegiate level.

Daniel Cesca

Operations Manager

Daniel graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he studied fiction and taught undergraduate creative writing courses. After earning his MFA, he taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Iowa, and served as the Writer-in-Residence at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory, one of the oldest biological field stations in the country.

Anna Griffin

826 Digital Manager

Anna has spent much of her career teaching high school English in New Orleans and Chicago. She brings curriculum development, instructional coaching, and administrative experience to her role as Digital Manager. Prior to this role, Anna served as Program Development and Support Coordinator at 826 National.

Cecilia Juan

Corporate & Foundations Relations Manager

Cecilia earned her MA in Arts Administration from New York University and has over five years of experience fundraising for arts organizations in the Bay Area and New York City. Before becoming a grant writer, Cecilia taught English to toddlers, scientists, and everyone in between, in Japan and the Czech Republic.

Caroline Moon

Research & Evaluation Associate AmeriCorps VISTA

During her time at UCSB, Caroline developed a passion for student empowerment and college affordability. She obtained her B.A. in Political Science and hopes to earn an Ed.M. Outside of politics and student issues, her other interests include traveling, reading, and getting a full 8 hours of sleep.

Okailey Okai

Program Development & Support Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA

Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Okailey attended art school at Alfred University and taught English in South Korea before obtaining her Masters in Arts Management from Claremont Graduate University. Some of her interests include K-POP, Japanese fashion and pushing the number of colors she can wear at one time.

Arfi Oktavianti

Field Operations Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA

Prior to this role Arfi was an 826 National intern with a continued passion for service and professional development. She earned a B.A. in Psychology, minoring in Comparative Literature from San Francisco State University. Arfi despises hot weather but actually hails from Jakarta and grew up in Southern California.

Kait Steele

Director of Field Operations

A founding member of 826CHI, Kait played a key role in program/curriculum development, serving as the organization’s first Programs Coordinator and later as its Director of Education. Prior to joining 826, Kait taught creative writing in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas. She holds a B.A. in English/Creative Writing from Northwestern University.

Shida Zamani

Salesforce Administrator

Shida earned her B.S. in Psychology at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and believes in the importance of investing in youth and education. As a certified Salesforce administrator, Shida values clean organized data. She also loves traveling, Giants baseball, and searching for the best east coast style pizza in the Bay Area.

Board President
Managing Partner, Zingerman’s Mail Order

Board Vice President
826 Valencia Representative
Chief Inclusion Officer, Stanford Graduate School of Education

Board Secretary
General Manager, Industry Affairs, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft

Board Treasurer
Investment Management, Goldman Sachs

826 Boston Representative
Active Community Volunteer

826LA Representative
Author, Documentary Film Producer & Co-Founder of CODEPINK

Litigation Associate, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

826NYC Representative
U.S. Government Affairs, Microsoft

826michigan Representative
Google Ann Arbor

Independent Consultant

Co-Founder, Issue Media Group

826 New Orleans Representative
Assistant Operations Manager, NOLA Lending Group

Independent Consultant

Partner, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Director, Social Innovation, AT&T

826DC Representative
Literary Agent at the Ross Yoon Agency


826 National Co-Founder
CEO, Enterprise for Youth
President & Founder, Teacher Salary Project

826 National Co-Founder
Founder of McSweeney’s Publishing & Award-Winning Author


Join the 826 National Network


Join our team of trusty, dedicated staff members here at the 826 National office, or at one of our chapters.



Interns make our world go ’round at 826 National.

We offer a variety of tracked internships that provide you with practical in-depth experience into the world of nonprofits.


Chapter Application

Bring the 826 model to your community.

Learn what we look for in organizations hoping to join our Chapter Development Process, and find resources to help you get started.