Youth Engagement Program
Made possible by the Enlight Foundation
Shreya Sundar (Sophomore)
Hi! My name is Shreya Sundar and I am a sophomore from the Bay Area. I love to read fantasy novels, and spreading the joy of reading and learning to others is one of my biggest passions. I have been collecting books for the ALP for over a year now, and I have successfully completed two book drives! My other hobbies include Bharatnatyam, a form of Indian classical dance, and Carnatic Music, a form of Indian classical music. My favorite subject in school is chemistry and my favorite book of all time is probably Simon vs. The Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I look forward to getting to know all of you!
Anna Kalishman (Seventh Grade)
My name is Anna. Currently, I am in 7th grade and am 12 years old. I have been in Girl Scouts for 7 years, and this is my fourth book drive with ALP. I am very excited to be working with ALP again and becoming a Youth Ambassador. Ever since I was little, I have always loved to read. Knowing that I can help others to experience the magic and joy of books makes me very happy. In addition to reading and Girl Scouts, I also enjoy doing many other activities such as playing the piano, cuddling with my cat, and riding horses.
Aneri Shah (Seventh Grade, Rolling Hills Middle School)
Hi. My name is Aneri Shah! As of right now, my age is thirteen. I go to a middle school called Rolling Hills Middle School and I am in seventh grade. I love it there! My favorite subject is science, because of all the cool things I get to learn like chemistry and biology. I also enjoy English, because I get to learn about how to be a better writer. Of course at school, I also get to talk to my friends, which is fun because I do not live close to some of them. Outside of school, I do horseback riding, martial arts, math, Russian Math, English, and Spanish.
My favorite two out of those are English and Horseback riding. English, because I love to learn how to be a better reader and writer all the time. Horseback riding, because I love animals and horses especially. Lastly, some fun facts about me. My favorite animal is a reindeer. I love Christmas. And my favorite book series is the Land of Stories. My favorite book however, is Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star, for it was my first book. I remember happily reading it with my parents, and not wanting to stop. All in all, I think I am a very interesting person and have a lot to offer!
Anya Patel (Sophomore, The Nueva School)
I’m Anya, a current sophomore at The Nueva School. I have been working with ALP since 6th grade and have helped with running book drives and fundraising at my school ever since. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to partner with schools in Africa to create libraries. I love the feeling of knowing that someone across the world is reading one of my favorite childhood books.
When I reflect on my experience I 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.
Maanya Raghurman (Freshman, Foothill High School)
My name is Maanya Raghuram. I am a freshman at Foothill High School, Pleasanton, CA. I live with my parents and an eleven-year-old brother. Reading has always been a passion of mine, and I hope to help other children enjoy it as well. I love listening to music, I play the piano and I am part of my school band, playing the clarinet. Other than reading and music, I am also an athlete. I play water polo for my school and have done MMA for a decade now. As a person, I pride myself on being hard-working, compassionate, and kind.
Jacob Isaacs (Los Gatos High School)
Hi, my name is Jacob Isaacs and I’m extremely excited about being an African Library Project Youth Ambassador. I have been involved with the African Library Project since my Bar Mitzvah and have created 3 libraries so far. In addition, I’m the Spirit Commissioner for Los Gatos High School and have been a part of Model United Nations for the past few years. Outside of my school and volunteer work I am also on the Los Gatos Rowing Club where I have been on the Varsity team for the past 2 years. I’m excited to be working with the African Library Project and I’m eager to help.
Mia Berseus (Freshman, Sacred Heart Academy)
Hi! My name is Mia and I am a freshman at Sacred Heart Academy in New York. I love community service of all forms and I am passionate about the climate. I believe that all people deserve a chance to succeed and I believe that we need to do everything we can to help our planet. My favorite subject in school is biology, I play tennis for my school, and in the winter I am ski instructor. I also love to try new things and I am always up for a challenge. Starting libraries in Africa means a lot to me because I know that I am making a difference.
Divya Prakash (College Freshman)
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)
Hari Satesh (Junior, Heritage High School)
My name is Hari Satesh and I am a junior at Heritage High School in Frisco, TX. I’ve been living here for the past 6 years and it’s amazing! I did my first library project during eight grade and since then have completed 7 libraries. I truly believe that ALP has been a big factor in making me who I am today.
Apart from school and ALP, I love to play basketball, hang out with friends, and travel. I would say that I am a person that would appear serious and shy, but once I get to know you better, I am really laid-back and love to have a good time.This is my first year as a youth ambassador and I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for us!
Samantha Ruderman (Senior, San Marcos High School)
My name is Samantha and I live in San Diego! I am currently a senior at San Marcos High School and am planning to attend a four year university next year to study nutrition. I created the first ever book drive at my high school last year and donated all of the books to an elementary school in need in my surrounding community.
This year we decided to go global with the book drive and team with African Library Project. I have a strong passion for helping others who are in need and spreading global literacy. I love reading, going to the beach, traveling, photography, and watching sunsets. I am so excited for this program and can’t wait to meet all of you!
Saurav Gandhi (Sophomore)
Saurav is a high school sophomore with an avid interest in computer science & engineering. He started off as a volunteer book drive organizer, and is now combining his passions for STEM and reading by taking on the role of a Data and Systems Support Intern where he hopes to leverage technology to make a positive impact on communities in Africa. In his spare time, he is the editor of STEMATIX, an international student-run STEM magazine, and enjoys playing the Tabla, Indian drums.
My name is Haley Krawczyk and I’m 17 years old. In the fall I’ll be a high school senior in Connecticut. I’m a swimmer and play the piano. Also, I love volunteering and am president of my school’s community service club and volunteer at blood drives with the Red Cross. I ran a book drive last year and collected over 7,000 books! With those, I created 5 libraries in Africa with hopefully two more to come! In addition, I sent about a thousand books to schools in Africa, and donated many more to Connecticut schools and people in need.
Nanki Sekhon (College Freshman, Santa Clara University)
Hi, everyone! My name is Nanki Sekhon and I am studying Computer Engineering and Science at Santa Clara University. I got involved with the African Library Project about a year ago where I participated in a book drive in Malawi. I am so excited to continue working with them to spread awareness and drive participation to help African literacy rates. Outside of ALP, I am spending quarantine with my dog and catching up on reading. One of my favorite novels is Prisoners of Night and Fog by Anne Blackman because of the unique perspective it takes up during 1930s Germany.
Mikha Kounouho (Sophomore)
Hi, my name is Mikha. I am a 14 year old sophomore at BASIS Peoria. I joined the Youth Ambassador Program because of my love for serving. After completing 3 book drives and working on a 4th one for the African Library Project, I wanted to be more involved in what the ALP did. I love the ALP not only because of my own passion for reading, but also because of the family I have in Africa. Students, like my cousins, should be able to experience the worlds of imagination present in these books, and should have the chance to learn another language such as English. Since I was little I had a deep love for reading, spending hours in books where I could find hope and solace. I want to help share that with others, let them join us in the magical worlds beyond textbooks. I hope to be able to further my passion through the Youth Ambassadors Program so that we can make a lasting impact.
Leyla Rivera (Freshman)
I am Leyla Rivera, I am a ninth grader at Woodside Priory. I love to play sports, especially tennis and soccer. I have been playing tennis since I was five years old. I am in the model un and latinos unidos club. Also I love to read and just curl up with a book. I have two dogs, Fred and Scooby, both full of energy and happiness. I was first introduced to the African library project when I was making a library with my brother. We collected 1,000 books and gained 500 dollars by doing lemonade stands and doing jobs around the neighborhood. I am really excited to become a African Library project student ambassador and can’t wait for what is to come!