Hannah Rose Neuhauser ’13 shares her love of writing with the next generation

Posted by Centre News in Alumni, Creative Writing, English, News 03 Mar 2015

neuhauserMaking a career out of a passion is the aspiration of many, and the education Centre College graduates receive opens the doors to make this a reality. Hannah Rose Neuhauser ’13 is already well on her way to making her own career dreams come true, thanks to an amazing opportunity at a national nonprofit that combines her passions for writing and working with youth.

The English major and creative writing minor from Louisville, Ky., followed her calling all the way to Ann Arbor, Mich., to accept a position at 826michigan, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping under-resourced students, ages 6-18, explore their creativity and improve their writing skills. Part of a national network of writing and tutoring centers, 826 seeks to help more than 32,000 students reach their potential through writing workshops, after-school tutoring and more.

Neuhauser learned about 826 while she was still a student at Centre and knew right away that it would be a perfect fit for her.

“I loved the idea of working for an organization that cultivated and celebrated writing from young people,” she says. “I accepted an internship at 826michigan last summer and then was offered an AmeriCorps VISTA position to work on staff for a year.”

Neuhauser serves as a program assistant, planning writing workshops, editing student work, training volunteers and coordinating in-school residency programs several times a week. She is also developing a family literacy initiative, collaborating with locals schools to launch Family Writing Nights.

“This job allows me to combine all of my interests: editing, creative writing and working with students,” explains Neuhauser. “It’s easy to fall in love with an organization whose heart is in the same place as yours.”

Neuhauser can certainly get behind the mission of 826, especially since she witnesses the organization making a difference in young people’s lives every day.

“When I first moved here, the first project that I did was our Young Authors Book Project, in which high school students wrote the bedtime stories that they wished they had as a child,” she remembers. “It was just such a great experience—working with students twice a week and seeing their ideas unfold into complete, imaginative stories.”

She adds, “I truly believe that reading and writing is the foundation for creating more empathetic, thoughtful and successful human beings,” she says.

826 takes this philosophy a step further by regularly publishing student work.

“We really believe in the power of print. When I hear young students talking about how they are published authors, my heart just turns into a tiny, joyful radiator.”

Another mainstay of 826 is the belief that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, a principle with which Neuhauser is already very familiar.

“We believe in personalized education, which of course, aligns with Centre’s values,” she notes.

In addition to inspiring in her an appreciation for individualized learning, Neuhauser’s professors at Centre also encouraged her to pursue her own ideas, something she now passes on to her students.

“Lisa Williams [associate professor of English and director of Creative Writing] always encouraged me to play with form and sounds; Christian Moody [visiting assistant professor of English and Creative Writing] always encouraged the idiosyncratic and the weird. I think that they helped instill some of the fabulousness that we encourage in our students.”

Learn more about 826michigan.

Learn more about 826 National.

by Caitlan Cole