Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Brianna!

It’s no secret that the CYC relies tremendously on our wonderful volunteers. From reading buddies to interns to creative writing inspirers, our volunteers are a crucial part of our mission. We couldn’t do this work without them!

This week, we asked Brianna a few questions about what being a CYC volunteer is all about.


1. How long have you been a volunteer?
I started volunteering last year in November (I think!), so a little over a year now.
2. What’s your favorite thing about the CYC?
I think what I like most is engaging with students in a way that is so unique to the CYC. There are not that many programs that focus so heavily making a true connection with the students and encouraging them to be creative and expand their thinking. The students are amazing, and it’s one of the best times of my week to get to work and play with them
3. What do you do when you’re not at the CYC?
When I’m not at the CYC, I do marketing and communications for small businesses. Outside of work, I have two cats and a dog that my husband and I spend copious amounts of time with. We also spend a lot of time with friends playing board games or Dungeons and Dragons. Getting creative, whether it’s reading, writing, or playing games, is my favorite pastime.
4. If you could ask Captain Tanny one question, what would it be?

My one question for Captain Tanny… What is the most unusual place you’ve ever traveled to?

Our Executive Director Published a Book!

As the executive director of the CYC, Kristin Brace works passionately to amplify our students’ voices, inspire creativity, and empower kids to become published authors. Throughout her career as a literary extraordinaire and frequent adventure seeker, she has been published in multiple journals and has experience in children’s literature, fiction, and poetry writing. However, Fence, Patio, Blessed Virgin is her first book.


At the CYC, we are immensely proud of Kristin and her sustained enthusiasm for creativity and tireless work to promote the CYC mission. Similar to many of our students, Kristin has expressed her dream of being a writer which began at the age of five. She is a constant source of inspiration for students and friends alike, and we are thrilled to congratulate her on this exciting publication.

Fence, Patio, Blessed Virgin was published by Finishing Line Press and is available for purchase here. Special thanks to Books and Mortar for hosting a reading with Kristin Brace.

Meet Captain Kelsey!

There’s a new face at the CYC! Captain Kelsey has journeyed far and wide, through distant lands and faraway places to join our team as the writing intern this year. Her enthusiasm for imagination and passion for creativity has brought her to the CYC for another incredible adventure, and she can’t wait to get started! For the sake of introductions, Kelsey answered a few questions so we can get to know her a little better.

What are you most looking forward to at the CYC?

I am so excited to collaborate with the awesome team here to inspire creativity and amplify young voices! I am especially looking forward to assisting with The Book of Explosions VIII.

Who is your favorite superhero?

Well, if we’re talking about movies or comics, it’s definitely Spiderman. However, my “real-life” superhero is my dad, who is always cheering me on and encouraging me to be the best person I can be. Although he seldom wears a cape, he’s pretty awesome.

If you could have dinner with any fictional character, who would you choose?

This is a tough one! I think I would choose Edna Mode from The Incredibles because I would love to talk to her about getting a custom-made super suit. My second choice would be Katniss Everdeen.

What do you do when you’re not at the CYC?

I’m a student at Aquinas College, studying Communication and English with an emphasis in writing. I also work at the AQ Advantage Center as an assistant to the International Programs Office and a Global Ambassador for the Italy program. Other than that, you can usually find me in the library, at a coffee shop, or in a car – en route to another adventure!

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done?

I ran around an entire country! I know what you’re thinking – crazy, right? Last fall, I spent a semester in Rome, Italy and on Thanksgiving, I ran the Turkey Trot around the entirety of Vatican City! Now, Vatican City happens to be the smallest country in the world, so the course was just over 3 miles. But, I can say I’ve done it and I have a t-shirt to prove it.

What inspires you to be creative?

I am inspired by a lot of things – a good book, the ocean, nature, my dog – but I consistently find myself inspired by the community around me and people who share a passion for making the world a better place.


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