Youth Engagement Program
Made possible by the Enlight Foundation
Adrienne Park (Freshman, The Nueva School)
I started working with ALP in 4th grade, and have been helping out with book drives and fundraising ever since. Two years ago I began leading the ALP efforts at my school with another Youth Ambassador (Anya Patel) and have truly loved the experience. Reading has always been my favorite thing to do, and I'm so grateful to be able to partner with schools in Africa to create libraries. ALP gives me the incredible opportunity and structures to do concrete good, and I hope to share this with others. I am excited to spread the word about ALP and give others the chance to give back as well. I can't wait to work more closely with this organization and look forward to contributing further in the future as a YA!
Alex Anita Cruz (Senior, Tracy High School)
I live in the little triangle also known as Tracy, California. I am a senior at Tracy High School. I became a Youth Ambassador because being literate is immensely important in life. It shocked me when I went to Kenya and Zambia and met people who could not read. Being part of an organization that can help make people literate one book at a time is my passion. I hope to make people here in the Bay Area aware of this organization and the importance of what they do. I also want to encourage kids to start their own book drive and learn how rewarding it can be! A fun fact about myself is I love to write poetry. Poetry is a way to express myself and my perspective of the world.
Amisha Wadhwa (Senior, Westmont High School)
Senior, Westmont High School
San Jose, CA
Anya Patel (Freshman, The Nueva School)
A couple of fun facts about me is that I play lacrosse and basketball. I also love to listen to music—anything from Taylor Swift to Drake—as I find that it can either relax me or get me pumped for a game.
After 3 years working with the African Library Project I became a Youth Ambassador. ALP has had an amazing impact on so many children in rural Africa. The amazing part about ALP is not only the feeling of knowing that someone halfway across the world is reading one of your childhood books, but also allowing them to have that experience. When I reflect on my experience I just feel so thrilled and so humbled that these students can have access to more learning opportunities. I joined the Youth Ambassador Program to expand the work that I have done with ALP and help get more people involved. I hope to get my peers and friends interested in starting their own book drives.
Arav Parmar (Sophomore, Mountain House High School)
Sophomore, Mountain House High School
Mountain House, CA
Brianna Carino (Senior, Tracy High School)
Senior, Tracy High School
Cade Albracht (Senior, Tracy High School)
Senior, Tracy High School
Divya Prakash (Senior, American High School)
I became a Youth Ambassador so I could deepen my impact through ALP - not only running book drives, but recruiting others to do so as well! I read almost constantly, and throughout my life I've witnessed books' remarkable ability to be an escape, enrichment, and a citadel of the imagination. I simply could not imagine my life without reading every day, and I'd like to do my part to bring this gift to more and more students. I hope that through our work as YAs, ALP can become almost a household name in the Bay Area, and that people are empowered to not only conduct book drives but also realize their own potential for service and change. A fun fact about me is that I'm a self-taught amateur sleight of hand magician! (Amateur being the operative word)
Hana Oshima (Senior, Saint Mary's High School)
I am a senior at Saint Mary’s High School in Stockton. A fun little fact about me is that I love anything that has to do with music. Music is something that brings people together and that’s amazing to me.
I am currently a part of the Youth Ambassador Program because of my commitment to serve other people. My motive to be compassionate in my local community and abroad have driven me to be heavily involved in the African Library Project. Recently I traveled to Kenya and Zambia on a mission to deliver books for the youth. Reading these books will give them knowledge and as everyone says, “Knowledge is Power.” It is important that we recognize that they deserve an opportunity to obtain this “Power” so they have a chance to be big and bold in life. I want the world to see that giving back to the world is something essential to everyone’s lives and the African Library Project is a perfect way to do so!
Jessica Schwartz (1st Year, Ohio State University)
1st Year - Ohio State University
Makayla Koochou (1st Year, University of San Francisco
I am originally from Tracy, CA, but I moved to San Francisco where I am studying Biological Sciences as a freshman at the University of San Francisco. Last summer, I had the awakening opportunity to travel to Kenya and Zambia where my peers and I built libraries within numerous elementary schools, connected with the children, and gained insight about various cultural dynamics. Due to my passion for humanitarian work and cultural understanding, I became a Youth Ambassador. As a Youth Ambassador, I hope to inspire others to donate and create book drives to continue delivering books to children in African countries. A fun fact about myself is that I was a choir geek all throughout high school and I have two guinea pigs!
Nadine Koochou (Junior, Tracy High School)
I am from Tracy, CA, and am currently a junior at Tracy High School. I became a Youth Ambassador because I have always had an insatiable passion for helping people, so when I learned about this program, I knew I had to participate. This drive to help others was further developed when I went on a volunteer humanitarian trip to Kenya and Zambia and saw the true impact that books have on kids across the globe. As a Youth Ambassador, I want to encourage my community to help in any way they can by showing them the positive impact ALP has had on children in various African countries. A fun fact about me is that I enjoy creative writing in my free time!
Neha Bandrapalli (Sophomore, Burlingame High School)
Sophomore, Burlingame High School