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Celeste Montano

Administrative Assistant

  • Oversees all administrative and operational aspects of Writing Hub services
  • Oversees day-to-day logistics of undergraduate and graduate consultants
  • Assists in Writing Hub project management and strategic planning
  • Ensures accurate data and record-keeping 
  • Compiles ongoing data for preliminary analysis
  • Coordinates purchasing, travel, event planning, and promotional materials
  • Assists with budget oversight

Talk to Me About

  • Lesser-known historical narratives
  • Learning English as a second language
  • Supporting youth activists
  • Developing out-of-school learning experiences
  • Young Adult Literature

Why Writing Matters to Me (and Why I Think it Should Matter to You)

For much of my adult life, I have used writing as advocacy. It’s the medium through which I observe and probe society, and the best way I know to make a point in hopes of effecting change. Storytelling is my favorite way of creating community, so writing is both a way to scrutinize the world and bring it closer to me.

But the older I get, the more I realize the importance of writing as I used it when I was younger: as a way of turning the clutter in my head into something I can understand. There is no relief like mentally rifling through a list of words and finding the ones that match my thoughts and feelings. Once I can identity a feeling, I can figure out what to do with it. Writing means naming and therefore understanding. For this reason, I think of writing as an agent that confronts chaos and promotes recognition—in the same way that writing helps me comprehend how the world works, it also helps me parse the workings of my own consciousness.

Celeste learned to speak English at age six, largely by reading at the local library. By the time she got to UCLA, double majoring in English and Spanish felt like a natural fit. Studying the literary canon taught Celeste most about the kind of stories she hopes to surround herself with: thought-provoking stories about people to whom she can relate—in other words, not stories she often encountered in the classroom.

Instead, Celeste found fulfillment outside academia by turning to activist peers. In 2014, she successfully spearheaded a project as part of SPARK Movement that alerted Google to the underrepresentation of women and people of color in Google Doodles. During that time, she also volunteered with nonprofits that aimed to empower teen girl writers and mentor youth activists.

In 2016, Independence National Historical Park hired Celeste to serve as part of the leadership team for its annual summer writing camp. Working alongside the park’s Interpretive Specialist for the next three years, she developed programs that exposed Philadelphia youth to lesser-known historical narratives, with a particular emphasis on women’s history. The time she spent with the National Park Service reinforced Celeste’s fervor for storytelling and helping students develop their own voices, passions she aims to leverage in service of Writing Hub staff and students.