Liad Mizarhi, Kerline Piedra, Kiane Joseph

It’s National Volunteer Week 2016, and we want to celebrate the important role of volunteers at Queens Library!

All this week, we will share stories of our volunteers on our blog. Thank you to them, and to every Queens Library volunteer, for their service!

Liad Mizarhi and Kiane Joseph are typical high school seniors counting the days to summer. Over the past few months, their lives have been consumed with applications, college visits, exams, and acceptance letters. Looking ahead, they are preparing for spring break, prom, graduation, and possible summer jobs before going off to college.

With such busy schedules, each girl was pleasantly surprised to learn that they were nominated for a Volunteer Spotlight in recognition of their service work at Forest Hills Community Library.

“They are dependable, efficient, and punctual. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award,” says Forest Hills Senior Librarian Kerline Piedra (pictured with Liad [left] and Kiane [right]).

As high school students, Liad and Kiane are part of a group of more than five hundred teens that volunteer with Queens Library each year. Collectively, these civic-minded young people are challenging the misperception that teens aren't reliable or don’t think about the future.

A student at Forest Hills High School, Kiane will be attending Savannah College of Art and Design. "I'm going to major in game design," she says. "It's what I've been preparing for in high school."

Liad, a student at the Summit School, is staying closer to home for college. “I’m going to Baruch College and I’m thinking about psychology. There’s a concentration called commercial psychology that I want to learn more about.”

Both girls have been volunteering since the fall and have been taking full advantage of the experience. Along with their primary duties helping to shelve books and materials, Liad and Kiane have been assisting with sorting through the numerous donations of books, games, music, and magazines collected by the library.

The girls have also taken some time to discover a few new authors. “I’ve been able to find books on the shelves that interest me, and when I done working, I’ll take them out,” commented Kiane, who picked up a copy of Tupac Shakur's The Rose That Grew from Concrete. Liad has also come across a new find; she's been reading Deborah Feldman’s Exodus: A Memoir.

Regardless of the path each girl travels, both agree that volunteering at the library has been a positive part of their senior year. “You gain a lot of experience that will stay with you throughout your life and your career,” says Liad.

Our thanks and congratulations to Liad and Kiane! Good luck!