The Teens Leading Change program is dedicated to amplifying youth voices and civic action in our community!
What difference do you want to make?
What topics do you care about?
When you join TLC, you have the opportunity to identify real challenges, and create real solutions – check out our video!
Projects form in September, and you may join until March 1, 2023.
Get out the Vote
Eagle Rock Branch Library
Teens Leading Change (TLC) offers teens in the LA area various opportunities to provide tender loving care to their communities and to make positive change in their neighborhood through the library. In the process, teen participants and the teen services librarian who helps facilitate the project develop valuable leadership and project management skills and hopefully, change the world.
TLC’s core component is civic action projects. Projects typically take place from October to April and are led by teens with support from librarians who specialize in working with teens. Teens who cannot volunteer for a civic action project may join TLC activities and events throughout the year.
The Teens Leading Change initiative is coordinated system-wide by the Teens Leading Change Committee, which currently consists of Candice Mack (Teen Services Manager), Cathie Chenoweth (School Liaison Librarian III), Matisse Mozer (Teen Services Librarian III), Kadie Seitz (Youth Services Librarian II), Shirley Thao (Library Foundation of LA), Kelly Tyler (Associate Director, Youth Services). Many thanks to past TLC Committee members Dora Ho (retired), Madeline Bryant (former LAPL), and Imani Harris (LFLA).
For more information, email teenservices [at] lapl.org
The Teens Leading Change program was established in the fall of 2017 by the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) and the Library Foundation of Los Angeles (LFLA).
Teens must be between 14-19 years of age and attending 9th-12th grade, and must register as a library teen volunteer. Additionally, teens must make an appointment with the library to verify their full COVID-19 vaccination status to participate.
Yes, all teen participants must be vaccinated to register as teen volunteers. To complete the volunteer registration process, interested candidates must make an in-person or virtual appointment to show their proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, in accordance with the City of LA’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement ordinance.
TLC program locations vary every year. Please contact the teen services librarian at your local branch library if you are interested in leading or joining a TLC project.
Teens identify TLC civic action project topics by identifying and discussing community topics they wish to explore during Teen Council meetings at libraries between August and October. Then, the group proposes a plan to address the topic through civic action (i.e., doing something about it!), and a librarian supporting the group will apply for funding to implement their idea. TLC has funding to support as many as 10 projects per year and up to $5,000 for each project. The next TLC civic action project application deadline is October 3, 2022.
You will develop and implement your civic action project with a group of peers and a teen services librarian; not by yourself. Fill out an interest form here, and we’ll connect you to the nearest LAPL location planning a TLC project. The following steps guide the creation of our Civic Action Projects:
1. RESEARCH & EXPLORE (August – November):
2. DEVELOP & IMPLEMENT (December – March): Develop an action plan, budget costs, implement the group’s civic action project, and document activities along the way
3. REFLECT, SHARE & ASSESS (April – May): Present your group’s work at a TLC Showcase in April and reflect and evaluate your experience
Teens and librarians collaborate with local communities in many ways, including interviewing stakeholders for project research, hosting events to learn more about community stakeholders’ work addressing the community issue, and forming partnerships with institutions such as schools to expose the project to new audiences.
The Library provides civic action project funding, librarians to advise and guide teens’ projects, volunteer credits, and Leadership Awards to recognize teens who demonstrate at least one of TLC’s core leadership values: adaptable, effective, empowering, ethical, inclusive, and visionary.
TLC awards mini-grants up to $5,000 for ten TLC Civic Action Projects each school year.
Teens have the opportunity to volunteer for a great cause and receive valuable community service hours. Volunteering is great for development, and shows character and initiative; qualities that universities and scholarships are looking for. Students gain knowledge about local government, engage intentionally with their communities and deepen their understanding of civic responsibility while making new connections and having fun.
We’d love to hear from you!
Send us a message, and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.