Dave Eggers used earnings from his autobiographical 2000 best-seller "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" to launch 826 Valencia, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center in San Francisco for children ages 6 to 18. The center has replicated itself in five other cities, with another branch scheduled to open this fall in Boston.
Eggers won the 2007 Arts and Humanities awards from the Heinz Family Foundation. At 37, he is the youngest recipient of the award, which is worth $250,000.
"I think of it as a validation of the work that 826 does," Eggers said in an interview. He said the $250,000 would be split evenly among the seven centers.