Mighty Volunteers

August 20th, 2016

Collin Bradley at Mighty Writers North

Hometown: Media, PA

Profession: Student

Been a volunteer at MW since: January 2017

What I do at MW: Help out any way I can.

Favorite author: Dan Simmons (Hyperion)

Last book I read: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Book I liked as a kid: Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss

Quote I like: “Turn your face to the sun, and the shadows fall behind you.” — Maori proverb

Jonathan A. Gaev at MW El Futuro

Hometown:  Philadelphia PA

Profession:  Engineer

Been a volunteer at MW since:  November 2016

What I do at MW:  Tutor (all subjects-I am probably best in Math and Science)

Favorite Author:  Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Idiot is my favorite book); Albert Camus is a close second (The Stranger and The Fall).

Last Book I read:  The Third Eye (Di san zhi yanjing) in “easy to read” Chinese.  Last book in English was Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.  Currently reading La Novia Oscura by Laura Restrepo (in Spanish)

Book I liked as a kid:  White Fang by Jack London

Quote I like:  “Fortune favors the prepared mind.” — Louis Pasteur

Maggie Schepcaro at MW South

Hometown: Lexington, Massachusetts

Profession: Paralegal

Been a volunteer at MW since: November 2016

What I do at MW: I get to be a part of the students’ writing process in all its steps, which means helping with school assignments that exercise their writing tools, playing games to clear their minds, participating in inspiring writing lessons, and assisting them in the writing their own thoughts.

Favorite author: Virginia Woolf

Last book I read: My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

Book I liked as a kid: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

Quote I like: “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” — Annie Dillard

A Mighty, Mighty Day

July 27th, 2016


July 26, 2016. 10am.

3000 Philly kids, ages seven to 17, writing.
Philadelphia Museum of Art.
photo: DJ Dilemma

“When they go low, we go high”

Mighty Volunteers

July 26th, 2016

Isabel Díaz Alanís, MW El Futuro

My hometown: Monterrey, Nuevo León, México.

What I do at MW: I assist Mr. Mario during his writing class on Tuesday and Ms. Nora in the comic book and immigration class on Saturday.

Favorite author: Juan Rulfo (it’s his centennial this year)

Quote I like: “Yo imaginaba ver aquello a través de los recuerdos de mi madre; de su nostalgia, entre retazos de suspiros. Siempre vivió ella suspirando por Comala, por el retorno; pero jamás volvió. Ahora yo vengo en su lugar. Traigo los ojos con que ella miró estas cosas, porque me dio sus ojos para ver”. (Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo)

Milonee Desai, MW West (pictured above, right)

My hometown: Irvine, CA

School: Drexel University

What I do at MW:  I act as a helping hand wherever I am needed. Some of my responsibilities include helping run daily workshops and programs at MW West, helping plan events, and create promotional materials. The best part about it all is being able to consider myself a part of the Mighty Writers family knowing that I am making a positive difference in their lives like they are in mine.

Favorite author: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Quote I like: “Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are.” ― Markus Zusak

Caitlyn Somers, MW North

Hometown: Cherry Hill, NJ

What I do at MW: Help Shamira and the kids as much as possible.

Favorite author: Kurt Vonnegut

Quote I like: “Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” -Allen Ginsberg

Mighty Volunteers

July 25th, 2016

Shanise Redmon 2016

Shanise Redmon

Hometown: Philadelphia

Profession: Graduate Student

Been a volunteer at MW since: 2013

What I do at MW: Workshop Instructor

Favorite authors: Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin and Amiri Baraka

Last book I read: Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Book I liked as a kid: As a little kid, anything by Shel Silverstein. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. As a teen, Native Son by Richard Wright, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kesey.

Quote I like: “Writing for me is control. Nobody tells me what to do. It’s mine. It’s free. It’s a way of thinking. It’s pure knowledge.” – Toni Morrison

Gosh, speaking of volunteering, check this.


Michael Schaffer

Hometown: Havertown

Profession: Retired journalist. I was a writer and editor at The Inquirer for more than 30 years before retiring at the end of 2014.

Been a volunteer at MW since: July 2016

What I do at MW: I help the younger children with their homework and the older ones with their writing. I also have helped an eighth grader write an application essay for Central High School.

Favorite author: P.G. Wodehouse

Last book I read: “Cry, the Beloved Country,” by Alan Paton

Book I liked as a kid: The Hardy Boys series

Quote I like: “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin

Mighty Volunteers

June 20th, 2016

Andrea Adeshigbin, MW North

School: Arcadia University

My hometown: Philadelphia. I’ve never lived anywhere else. I went to Central High School, the second oldest high school in the country.

A Mighty Writers student who inspires me: Aniyah takes her time, but by the time she’s finished her writing pieces are works of art. She always strikes me as someone who tries to take it easy, something I am still trying to learn how to do.

Favorite thing I’ve written: I have been working on a novel since high school. It’s a labor of love and research. Let’s just say immortals meet Octavia Butler’s Kindred.

Cybil Sanzetenea, MW El Futuro

Occupation: Dual Language Kindergarten Teacher at Elkin Elementary

My hometown:  I grew up in a small Long Island town with the ocean as my backyard. What’s interesting is that, though Port Jefferson may seem like an idyllic little beach town, it’s actually full of drama and intrigue.

A Grown-up Mighty writer who inspires me:  Roald Dahl’s writing is the greatest pleasure on earth. I will never be tired of rereading The Witches, James and the Giant Peach, The BFG, or The Twits.

Favorite thing I’ve written:  My senior thesis was a children’s book. It tells the story of a boy in Bolivia who often visits a cemetery, the stray dog that watches him, and a very spirited fruit fly. I carved and printed all of the illustrations, and it was awesome.

Aileen Tschiderer, MW West

School: University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education

My hometown:  I moved to Philadelphia from Portland, Maine and recently learned about the whoopie pie feud that exists between Maine and Pennsylvania. Both claim to be the birthplace of the dessert and there’s a serious food fight between the two.

A Mighty Writer who inspires me:  I have to pick one?! Really all Mighty Writers participants inspire me with their creativity, perspective, passion and insight.

My favorite thing I’ve written:  In high school I wanted to join the school’s literary magazine but didn’t make the cut when I first interviewed. I was pretty upset. However, I loved writing, kept at it, and won the school’s poetry contest the next year. That poem is near to my heart because I’m proud of what I wrote and it showed me the value of perseverance.

December 11th, 2015

Hey, that’s us.

Our Mighty Directors

December 7th, 2015

program directors

Counter-clockwise from right hand corner: Khalia Robinson (West Philly), Madeline Karp (El Futuro), Tanesha Ford (South Philly) and Shamira O’Neal (North Philly). ‪#‎Mighty‬

Mighty Writers Wins Edward R. Murrow Award

December 7th, 2015

murrow awards

Mighty Writers has won a prestigious 2015 Edward R, Murrow Award for an audio documentary titled GOING BLACK: THE LEGACY OF PHILLY SOUL RADIO.

GOING BLACK: THE LEGACY OF PHILLY SOUL RADIO, a two-hour audio documentary that aired on public radio stations around the country in 2014 and again in 2015, recaptured the glory days (1950—1979) of Black radio in Philadelphia.

> Read more here >>

smiley girlChildren make you want to start life over.” 

—Muhammad Ali