This year eight ALP book drive organizers received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for their work helping to start libraries in Africa. The awardees range in age from 10-17 and live all across the U.S. from California to New Hampshire. They share a dedication to literacy and community service!

“I am so grateful to receive this award as well as being a part of this organization. The African Library has been such an amazing experience. It is honestly one of the most hands on and engaging organizations to work with. It has been such an eye opening experience. I cannot wait to continue volunteering and changing lives.” Shammruthi Ananth, age 16, of San Ramon, CA, is on her fourth book drive now.

“It felt really good being able to start three libraries at schools in Africa. I hope the kids are enjoying all the books they got!” Jake Albertson, 10, West Chicago, IL
“This award means a lot to me, and I am so honored that I get to work with an amazing charity organization like ALP which shares the same belief I have that education is the key to changing the world.” Pooja Muvva, age 14, lives in San Jose, CA. She is a 9th grader at Lynbrook High School and on the varsity tennis team! But she still makes time for volunteering. She did her first book drive in 7th grade and is now doing her third.
This brother and sister duo both received President’s Volunteer Service Awards. Erin and Ethan Bentel go to Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego. This was the third Library for Erin (age 17) and the first for Ethan (age 16). They are looking forward to doing another next year, and we are so pleased!
“Being able to participate in the African Library Project during the past summer was definitely a worthwhile experience, as I was able to reach out to and interact with many people who generously contributed to help accomplish my goal. It gives me immense pleasure and satisfaction to have been able to make an impact towards this noble cause and play a role in encouraging reading and education for all the children in our communities near and far,” Sithara Nambiar, age 16, of Nashua, NH.
“I have worked on my book drive for the past year, and I can wholeheartedly say it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Receiving the gold President’s Volunteer Service Award represents a milestone in my efforts to better the community around me, so I am very happy to receive this award.” Vikram Ruppa-Kasani, age 16, of Alpharetta, Georgia, did his book drive for his Eagle Scout project
Karina Chopra, age 17, of Fremont, CA, is inspired by this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

All of our honorees this year have made a difference, and we congratulate them on their awards.