Meet the Staff: Shayna Baggatts-Porter

Shayna Baggatts-Porter recently joined the 826DC team as our Special Projects Associate! She is helping us with a ton of exciting projects like expanding our Visiting Authors Program and developing 826DC’s two-week summer writing workshop.

We’re so glad that Shayna is here, and sat down with her to get to know her better:


Name: Shayna Baggatts-Porter

Job Title: Special Projects Associate

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Hometown: Washington, D.C.


What drew you to 826DC?

I have worked with 826DC in the past and greatly felt and appreciated the impact the program had on my former students. I still have the book of poetry the second graders wrote with 826DC. This is a small nonprofit that moves very intentionally and knows where it wants to go.

What’s one unusual thing on your desk right now?

A lump of polymer clay. I like to keep my hands busy when I’m brainstorming and molding clay is one of my favorite art activities. Using clay to keep my fidgety hands working helps me think more deeply.

What was your favorite book growing up, and why?

I loved the Ramona Quimby series. Ramona was a self-assured 5-year-old that asked the tough questions and stood up for herself no matter what. She was the best role model for tiny me. As an introverted and super logical kid, my quests for knowledge were, and still are, often misunderstood as combative and annoying. We just want the truth! We are women who want the truth and we may not smile while asking for it!

If you were a magician, what would be your signature magic trick?

Definitely making things levitate. How much fun would that be? 

What inspired you to get involved with this kind of work, and why do you think it’s so important?

Providing young people with multiple avenues of self-expression is one of the greatest gifts adults can give. I believe it’s important to pass along what we have learned about ourselves and try to make that learning easier and more accessible for those that come after us.