One of the main qualities universities and colleges look for in a possible student is involvement in extracurricular activities. While good grades and ACT scores are crucial pieces of a college application, school administrators are also looking for attributes that set certain students apart from others, such as volunteer work, and commitments to clubs and sports.
There are many opportunities for all this at BG, ranging from Interact, Model United Nations, and Environmental Club, but there are also opportunities to get involved in the rest of the community as well.
At the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, the Teen Department has reinvented itself in the last few years. The Hub, a nook of sorts for teens ranging from ages 13-18, is a place where kids can go to study, read, participate in DIY projects and even play a few video games was developed. Along with that, came the Teen Advisory Board (TAB).
“Our library’s top priority is to enhance our services to teens,” TAB leader Tom Spicer said. “We want them to consider the library a useful resource for both educational and personal purposes, which is why we formed TAB.”
Some TAB participants are students at BG as well. Enlisted as co-presidents are Shannon Brennan and Selena Groh. Brennan feels that TAB provides great opportunities for teens in terms of volunteering.
“My favorite was one day this past summer when we got to spray paint trash cans for local parks,” Brennan said. “They even provided us Jimmy John’s for lunch.”
TAB also has its own digital following as far as Facebook and Twitter go. TAB’s social media officer and sophomore, Colin Groh, is currently doing an interview for the library’s website with painter and illustrator Amanda Gross, regarding the Hub’s “Artist Takeover” this November. The “Artist Takeover” is where teen artists hang their artwork around the Hub to illustrate their creativity.
TAB is also responsible for the construction of new areas or features of the library.
“We actually built a floor-to-ceiling wall clock in the Hub,” Spicer said. “We are also currently involved in making a marquee electrical lightbulb sign above the Hub’s information desk.”
The teen programs at the library are often planned by TAB and the process is a highlight for many in the group.
“One of my favorite things is planning the events for other teenagers,” Brennan said. “We always offer free food as well, so that’s pretty solid.”
TAB meetings are open to teens of all ages and meets one Saturday a month in the Hub. To join, a student must go pick up a TAB application form from the desk in the Hub.
“I keep track of all the TAB members’ volunteer hours, including attendance of TAB meetings,” Spicer said. “So teens can refer to me for information regarding College Applications and classwork regarding volunteer hour confirmation.”