Volunteer of the Month: Kalli Angel

Q: What brought you to Austin?

 

A: After graduating from college, I knew that I wanted to focus on my own writing and that I wanted to explore a new part of the country. The more that I read about Austin, the more it felt like the right place to find a creative community and grow as an artist. I moved down sight unseen, and after about a year, I can say that Austin has exceeded my hopeful expectations. I have met so many enthusiastic, passionate, talented people (for example, everyone at ABC!), and I think I’ve eaten my weight in queso. Twice.

 

Q: What made you interested in Austin Bat Cave?

 

A: As a junior in college, I started volunteering for an after-school creative writing program at a high school in New Haven. It was an incredible journey to share with these talented students as they honed their writing and learned to take pride in their stories. Since then I’ve continue to seek out opportunities to help kids find ownership in their voices on the page and to share all of the writing skills I’ve learned over the years.

Of course when I moved to Austin, everyone I talked to kept asking, “Have you heard of Austin Bat Cave?” Finally I emailed Katie about getting involved, and the rest is history. I regret nothing!

 

Q: How do you incorporate writing and/or working with kids into your everyday life?

 

A: Volunteering for Austin Bat Cave! I’m also a writer myself, so that fills most of my everyday life. I work in a number of different genres, most recently playwriting and short fiction. I’m also in the middle of a translation project, where I’m translating flash fiction from Argentinian Spanish to English. I dabble in a lot of different things, but the common thread is my own storytelling or helping other people share their stories.

 

Q: What are your favorite talents and/or hobbies and how do those practices incorporate into your everyday life?

 

A: I’ve got some weird hobbies. I was on my college shotgun team, and I still love shooting skeet and trap when I can find the time. I also practice krav maga (an Israeli self-defense system) at Fit and Fearless in South Austin. I got my first belt last fall!

When I’m not trying to prove that I’m hardcore, I’m probably reading, taking pictures around town, or trying to learn another language (Greek at the moment). And I love to cook.

 

Q: How old are you? Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school?

 

A: I’m 23 years old. I grew up mostly in the northern suburbs of Chicago, but also a little bit in Houston and in the DC area. I spent most summers with my family exploring the Colorado Rocky Mountains, which definitely played a part in who I am today.

I earned my BA in Comparative Literature from Yale, where I got to take some fantastic writing workshops and studied all kinds of narrative and storytelling.

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