Teen Volunteer Spreads a Love of Libraries
“Amidst a challenging classschedule at Mission BayHigh School and exhausting football, baseball and track practices, 15‐year‐old Logan Heights resident Armando Herrera finds time to follow another of his passions: giving back to his community and the new library which has become a second home for the neighborhood’s youth.
Armando was a founding member and primary recruiter for the Library’s Teen Council, which plans library activities, advocates for teen needs and fundraises for the library. Armando also helped create the library’s teen music group, Project Unknown. The 20‐member band performs throughout San Diego to rave reviews. A recent YouTube video the group produced and performed expresses their love for the library. The video is a viral hit, winning $1,000 in a National American Library Association contest.
“I’ve always liked helping others and the library has so much to offer,” says Armando. “The library has become a safe place to get my friends off the street and I encourage them all to volunteer with me. My mother has even begun taking English classes at the library and my brother receives free homework help.”
As the first youth member of the Friends of the Logan Heights Library, Armando also fundraises to meet library needs. It was Armando’s work with the Friends, including heading a letter‐writing campaign, which garnered initial funding and instruments for Project Unknown. His participation in fundraisers such as book and bake sales have raised hundreds of additional dollars to purchase library equipment and books.
Armando focuses on community outreach by encouraging friends, classmates and family members to use library services and launching new activities to bring students into the library. His created the library’s popular weekly Video Game and Family Movie programs. And, thinking ahead, included a fundraising concessions stand. In addition, as an advocate for library funding, Armando spoke before the San Diego City Council in May to oppose proposed cuts.
“Armando has strong leadership skills and is always willing to lend a helping hand,” says Youth Services Librarian Ady Huertas. “His dedication to his work and the community help him excel in every project he takes on. We are so grateful to have him as a role model and volunteer at the library.”