Teens Leading Change: Teens Recycling for Change

Guest Blogger,
Four teen volunteers hold up their certificates next to librarian
"As a team, we worked hard to achieve our goals and were not disappointed with the results at all."

Throughout my childhood, I have always been invested in trying to find a way to help the earth and renourish our universal home. When I found out about the Teens Leading Change program, I was able to connect with other amazing young people with the same aspirations and goals. With hard work, communication, and a little funding from the Library Foundation, we were able to achieve our goal: Spread knowledge of recycling, composting, and helping people around our community effectively grow more plants on their own in an engaging way for both children and adults.

What better way to spread awareness about the importance of helping the environment than using appealing, hands-on activities that people of all ages can enjoy? Throughout the past year, our team has worked to organize various activities leading up to our main event, which was right before Earth Day, to promote awareness on how to contribute to helping our world.

teens at an outreach event

Our first major event was hosted at Central Library, where we managed two stands. A coloring table in which kids, adults, and even seniors were gathered around to fill in a coloring sheet or word puzzle, as well as a seed bomb station. A seed bomb is an extremely fun way to beautify your community by making seed-infused soil mounds to plant in your personal garden or even on sidewalks. These “bombs” are infused with various seeds, which will each sprout at various times of the year, which will ensure that our community will stay beautiful and floral all year round.

On Earth Day, our team invited Compostable LA, who hosted a fascinating, hands-on workshop about how to maximize compost to use in gardens as well as using other products to effectively grow healthy plants. During this activity, our team and community members who participated in the event planted dozens of flowers and vegetables. By using toilet paper rolls and egg cartons, we were able to effectively recycle “trash” and use them as biodegradable pots that can be inserted directly into the soil without doing harm to the environment.

teens at a library event

Overall, Teens Leading Change, a program from the Los Angeles Memorial Branch Library, has helped me not only learn more about how to help the world in a fun, hands-on way but also connect me to amazing people. Together, we formed an extremely close bond, and there was never a dull moment working together. As a team, we worked hard to achieve our goals and were not disappointed with the results at all.

teens in a garden
teens in at a library event

—Maya Namba

Maya is a teen volunteer and Memorial Teens Leading Change project member. Maya is a student at Harvard-Westlake School.

—Loren Spector, Young Adult Librarian III, Memorial Branch Library.

The Teens Leading Change initiative has funded and launched 52 projects across 60 branches with over 600 participants, including 9 projects across 10 branches that are happening now! Go to lapl.org/teens/tlc for more information.