About teenservices

Teen Services Librarian at the Mission Viejo Public Library!

Digital Leadership Workshop Program for Teens

Happy February, everyone! I am Tran Nguyen, a girl scout of Troop 2279, located in Santa Ana, CA. As a senior in high school, I am currently working towards my Gold Award, the highest award in the Girl Scout program.

During quarantine, everything was closed. Due to everything being canceled and closed, we couldn’t earn service hours or perform community service, and this went on for about 6 months. We didn’t know what else to do with our bucket-load of free time that we had during quarantine. We teenagers love spending time on our devices, and our parents couldn’t tell us to get off and do something productive easily. Social media is a HUGE part of our lives. But what if I told you that we, as teenagers, could use social media in a better way?

As a student who has struggled with procrastination and social media addiction from 8th grade to junior year in high school, I understood what it was like to be unproductive and how it was a challenge to balance school, extracurricular activities, and social media platforms. After learning about social media marketing and diving deeper into that skill during quarantine, I was able to find that balance. Knowing how many teenagers also struggle with finding that balance, I wanted to help them through my workshop program.

My online program, the Digital Leadership Workshop, aimed to show and help the teenage population become more aware of how they can use social media as a tool instead of something to waste time on. This program did that by teaching the basic skills of social media marketing — a skill where one could use social media to help other communities, groups, clubs, charities, organizations, businesses, and even grow him/herself to serve the people in his/her community.

The Digital Leadership Workshop taught basic skills of social media marketing including:

  • defining a target audience
  • how to run a business page on social media
  • how teenagers can apply these skills to help others in their community
  • and how advertisements work on social media

While collaborating with the Central Library, I was able to share these skills with up to 10 people, and their awareness about this subject grew from 50% to 85%. I would like to thank the Mission Viejo Library and Mr. Allen Kesinger for giving me the opportunity to share my expertise with the teenagers there. I know I didn’t get much of an audience throughout the duration of my workshop program, but the feedback I received was very insightful. It helped me to become more aware of how I can make the program better for future teenage audiences; I look forward to presenting at more locations.

Thank you!

–Tran N.

For more information, please see the flyer above or click to visit the website.

Home Ec At Home: How To Braid

This simple skill is important because you can use it on yourself or for others. It’s nice to know how to braid your own hair, or even your future child’s. Whether you are a boy or girl it is a good skill. It has more uses than just a hairstyle. You could use it in baking, for ropes, bracelets etc.

Step 1: Separate hair (or other item) into three equal sections
Step 2: Take one of the outer sections and cross it over the center(left or right)
Step 3: Take the outer section on the opposite side and cross it over the center as well
Step 4: Continue crossing the outer species alternating from each side

-Rachel R.

Home Ec At Home: How to Sell Clothes

There are many second-hand shopping platforms that allow sellers to independently ship items to buyers (the most popular ones are eBay, Depop, Poshmark, and Mercari).

The first step in getting some cash out of your old clothes is to sort out your clothes into piles: keep and sell.

Once you have your sell pile, ideally, you should iron them or wash them if they are wrinkly or dirty so the buyer knows that they will receive an item in wearable condition.

Next, find a solid background with good lighting. It is crucial that you take these pictures when it is sunny outside or with artificial lighting so that they can easily be seen.
If you are able to, modeling the clothes is a great option to allow your customers to see what the clothing will fit.

You don’t need to invest in an expensive camera to take pictures– a smartphone camera will do just fine. Make sure that your shadow is not in the frame, and snap a picture with the clothing item centered in the middle. Many platforms show items in a square format, so you should switch your camera setting to square mode if needed.
If you are modeling the clothing yourself, you can invest in an auto-take handheld clicker, or use the self-timer.

Finally, post the picture with a detailed description highlighting any flaws, measurements, manufacture date, and size. Set a reasonable price, or purposely set it high and have buyers offer their best price. Keep in mind that many platforms have around a 10% fee.

The final step is to wait! If your item is sold, all you have to do is pack it up and print out the prepaid label that your selling platform may provide.

Happy selling!

-Irene K.

Home Ec At Home: Banana Bread!

Ella’s Secret Banana Bread Recipe Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Refined Sugar Free

For this recipe, you are going to need dark (almost black) bananas. The darker they are, the better the banana bread will be. If your bananas aren’t ripe enough, place them in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.


2 cups of almond flour (or you can use coconut flour)
1 teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
½ cup of vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
½ cup of coconut sugar
⅛ cup of maple syrup (use ¼ to ½ cup if you want it sweeter)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 ⅓ cups of mashed bananas (about 3 small/medium size)
Unsweetened chocolate (I use 100% cacao)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease or line a 8×4 loaf pan with parchment paper.

2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl. (You will later add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients)

3. Combine oil and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. You can use a hand mixer for combining to make it easier. Next, add eggs and vanilla and mix well.

4. Mash up the bananas and combine with the wet ingredients.

5. Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined.

6. Chop up your chocolate bar into small chunks and add to the mixture. Mix until evenly combined.

7. Pour mixture into loaf pan and bake for 50-60 (I bake mine at 55) minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Make sure not to overbake.

8. Let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack.

Storing Bread:

The bread will last anywhere between 5-7 days. Keep it wrapped in plastic wrap, foil, or in a sealed container at room temperature.

Hope you enjoy it 🙂

-Ella P.

Home Ec At Home: Making Guacamole From Scratch

Who doesn’t like Guacamole?  It is time to make some fresh.  Here is what you need and what you can do when missing a few ingredients:

Ingredients (with substitution ideas for a few):

You must have 2 large avocadoes
1/4 onion
2 cloves garlic (you can use 1 tsp garlic powder if you don’t have garlic, but it isn’t as good)
1/2 of a lime
1 pinch of cilantro – not the whole bundle, just pinch off a section the width of your thumb (if you are out of cilantro, just add more coriander when you get to that step)
1 tomato (you could add 1TBS salsa if you don’t have tomato)
1/4 tsp cumin  (or just sprinkle once around the bowl)
1/4 tsp coriander (or just sprinkle once around the bowl)
salt and pepper to taste

How to make it:

1.  Cut open the avocados and scoop them into your larger bowl.
2.  Chop 1/4 onion and two cloves of garlic on your cutting board.  Chop these very small.  Before cutting garlic, turn your knife on its side and really squish the garlic into the cutting board. This sort of minces it a little.  Then chop it up.  Add these to your bowl with the avocado
3.  Chop cilantro very well and add to bowl
4.  Chop tomato and add to bowl or add your 1TBS salsa if you are out of tomatoes
5.  Lime really helps your guacamole.  You only need half of a lime.  Squeeze it in if you have it.
6.  Now add your spices: cumin, coriander, salt, pepper. I don’t measure and just sprinkle these once around the bowl.  I added a measurement for those of you who like to be exact.
7.  Stir with a fork to mix, and I will sometimes add a TBS of water if it is too thick to get a creamier guac.  Only add a little at a time!

-Preston V

Introducing Home Ec At Home

Hi friends!

Beginning this month, the Teen Voice Blog will be hosting a series of posts from the Teen Advisory Board called Home Ec At Home. The idea is to present useful tips on how to perform basic but important skills you can use at home! making food, cleaning around the house, mending clothing, even what foodstuffs are safe for pets! Both myself and the Teen Advisory Board hope that you will get some use out of the material they’ve put together.

Home Ec At Home posts will appear on the front page every other week. If you end up trying out some of the activities, let us know how they worked out for you in the comments!