An Interview with our Director of Research and Evaluation, Lauren Broder

January 31, 2020

826 National is currently seeking applicants for a Director of Research and Evaluation. Learn more about what it’s like to work at 826 National from Lauren Broder, Ph.D., 826 National’s Director of Research and Evaluation, who leaves us some words of advice as she moves on from this role after 6 years.

Q: What brought you to 826 National, and how long have you worked here?

A: I joined 826 National over six years ago after finishing my doctorate in developmental psychology. What I saw in the 826 model, beyond the writing support and the celebration of individuality, was a model that promoted elements critical to resiliency in youth — namely, the development of self-efficacy and the support from adults. It spoke to me as meeting a critical developmental need while doing so in a way that also elevated important and underrepresented voices.  ‍

Q: What’s one achievement you’ve made here that you’re particularly proud of?

A: Launching our writing assessment tool in collaboration with the National Writing Project (NWP) definitely stands out. It’s been amazing to see our suite of evaluation tools and metrics come together in a way that tells the story about the impact of the work being done at each chapter, and our writing assessment in particular has been an area that has been informative both for program improvement and in helping us showcase the power of the 826 model.  

Q: What is something you’re going to miss about 826 National?

A: Without a doubt, the people: the staff, volunteers, board members, educators, and students. I have never been surrounded by such passion, such fierce dedication, and so many loving and compassionate hearts than when I am in a room with the 826 community. Seeing people come together to take collective action in service to the students is a profound experience and one in which I am forever grateful I was able to take part. 

Q: What advice do you have for interested candidates? What disposition should they bring to their work and what expectations should they have of this position (and working with 826 National in general)? 

A: Candidates should first and foremost bring a commitment to our mission and our students. Outside of that commitment, a strong belief in the power of data and evaluation to be a tool among a larger toolkit in articulating impact and improving programming. The 826 Network deeply values research and evaluation, and the National office and this role have the incredible opportunity and privilege of supporting those aims to further strengthen the work being done across the country.

If you’re interested in becoming 826 National’s next Director of Research & Evaluation, please look over our updated job description.

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