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2016 Service Learners of the Year

San Diego County Library's Service Learning program gives local teens volunteer work experience for school credit and personal enrichment. The following teens have been selected as Service Learners of the Year in recognition of their outstanding contributions and commitment to the library.


Izabella Chan and Christine Phan

San Marcos Branch

Izabella Chan has volunteered as a Service Learner at the San Marcos Library for four years and has completed 309 hours of Service Learner hours. Izabella is known for her positive attitude, kindness, and leadership. Izabella wants to pursue a career in nursing; her ability to lead and excellent communication skills will be a great asset.

Christine Phan has volunteered as a Service Learner at the San Marcos Library for three years and completed 204.5 hours of Service Learner hours while challenging herself with many AP classes in school. She is a natural leader and has gone above and beyond in her volunteer efforts at the library. Christine has helped organize, set up and host several large programs for teens.


Isabelle Chavarin

Ramona Branch

Isabelle Chavarin has been a Service Learner at the Ramona Library for three years, with a total of 205 service hours. She currently holds the position of President of the Teen Action Council, as well as Liaison to the Friends of the Library. Día de los Niños and the Summer Reading Program are her favorite library programs. Isabelle has been selected Service Learner of the Year due to her commitment and passion in serving the Ramona Community Library.


Ruby Cuarao

Lakeside Branch

Ruby Cuarao has been a Service Learner at the Lakeside Library since July 2015, and has over 150 hours of service. Ruby’s accomplishments include processing, cleaning, shelving, shelf reading, displaying materials, assisting other Service Learners, preparing and organizing crafts and freebies for outreach events, assisting with book drops, creating flyers, and much more. Ruby is fluent in Spanish, which is beneficial to the library's Spanish-speaking customers. She is a hard worker, has excellent customer service skills, is adaptable to change, and reliable, and strives to make a difference in the community and to the library.


Stephanie & Jennie Fox

Rancho San Diego Branch

Sisters Stephanie and Jennie Fox have been volunteering at the Rancho San Diego Library for six months. Besides shelving, they do everything, including the book drop and paging list. They make a great team and the entire staff looks forward to seeing them. They are very hardworking and extremely pleasant to be around.


Analise Hober

Poway Branch

Analise Hober has been a tremendous Service Learner at the Poway Library. She has been volunteering going on three years and has accumulated 300+ hours. She always comes in ready to work. She has experience shelving and working on children's displays. She has also helped with kids' and teen programming. She's always so happy and willing to help any way she can. She will be extremely missed the day she does decide to have her Service Learner time come to an end.


Alina Leholm

Santee Branch

Alina Leholm has been volunteering as a Service Learner with the Santee Library for over three years. She takes her role very seriously and she can be heavily relied upon to complete any task assigned. She has been a major help in maintaining branch operations by dutifully shelving, retrieving book drops, and assisting staff in pulling materials for various lists. On many occasions, Alina has supported staff by helping with craft preparations and seasonal activities. Alina’s quiet demeanor helps her to fit in seamlessly while always presenting a positive, helpful approach to all of her work.


Kurt Nagata

Fallbrook Branch

Kurt Nagata is a Service Learner at the Fallbrook Library. He is very intelligent, open-minded, responsible, and a great problem solver. He has a great personality and Fallbrook branch staff are very happy to have him help with library duties.


Eve Oesterheld

Encinitas Branch

In her short seven months volunteering at the Encinitas Library, Eve Oesterheld has been a constant, reliable Service Learner. Whether it is shelving, helping with a craft, or setting up or taking down a program, she always has a smile on her face and is willing to help accomplish any task. Eve models a great work ethic by being on time and always calling if she cannot make it to her shift, as well as asking questions when she needs clarification. She is also an avid reader and is dedicated to literacy and the pursuit of continuous learning.


Melissa Perez

Valley Center Branch

Melissa Perez has been with the Valley Center Library for over two years and is the branch’s Teen Advisory Group President this year. Melissa lights up the branch when she comes to work and even helps out other teen volunteers. She has great energy, self-confidence, leadership skills, and the drive to reach all her goals. Her bilingual skills have also been an asset to the branch when needing translations. Melissa has been an outstanding help at the branch and has already reached 100 hours of service this year alone.


Sabrina Salazar

El Cajon Branch

Sabrina Salazar joined the El Cajon Library’s Service Learning team in summer 2015. She started as a shelver but quickly began assisting with weekly craft programs, sometimes running them herself. In the fall, she signed up for a second weekly shift as a Homework Tutor, Story Crafternoon Leader, and a Rockin' Recess Aide. She has been happy to help out at extra events and her assistance was paramount to the success of the Halloween Party and College for All Community Resource Fair. In the last eight months, she’s given over 100 hours at the El Cajon branch.


Tanvi Shinkre

Solana Beach Branch

Tanvi Shinkre is a dynamic high school Service Learner who leads the Solana Beach Library's Speech and Debate Club for middle schoolers. Tanvi is on the Torrey Pines High School Speech and Debate team and uses her knowledge and experience to guide the participants. They do debate drills, learn about different types of speeches, write speeches, and give speeches. As the ultimate experience, all 15 participants in the club will enter the Optimist Club's Oratorical Contest.


Reeve Talavera

Bonita-Sunnyside Branch

Reeve Talavera first started volunteering at the Bonita Library as a sophomore in high school in March 2014. Now a senior, Reeve has been a consistent and dependable volunteer with nearly 200 hours of service completed. He arrives for his weekly shifts ready to help out with the paging list, shelving, emptying the bookdrop, or anything else that staff may need. For the last two years, Reeve has been an essential part of the success of many special annual library events including Bonita’s Got Talent, the Multicultural Fair, and the Mad Hatter Tea Party.


Karina Valdespino

Vista Branch

Volunteering for various programs at the Vista Library - ranging from the Summer Reading Challenge, to the Prom Dress Giveaway, to Feeding America's Summer Food Service program - Karina Valdespino has done it all. She has shelved, trained other teen Service Learners, repaired SDCL items, tutored K-6 kids, conducted library programs (crafting, set-up, clean-up, etc.), and more. For the 2015 calendar year alone, Karina accumulated 249 volunteer hours, raising her current overall tally to just over 620 hours.


Aryam Yepez

Spring Valley Branch

Aryam Yepez is a dedicated Service Learner at the Spring Valley branch. She is responsible, energetic, and hardworking. She always goes the extra mile to help out with afterschool programs and large branch events. She also helped recruit new Service Learners from her high school to help out. She is a positive Service Learner whose efforts have truly benefited the library.