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Ladera's Amazing Teens: Meet Riya

Meet some of Ladera's amazing teens who are putting their skills, talents, and creativity to great use. From giving back to others, starting their own businesses or performing their music, we think you'll agree that Ladera has some terrific young people.

Riya Rajesh 

Riya is a freshman at San Juan Hills High School. She loves all things science as well as music, art, and stickers. She has studied violin for eight years at the Opus 119 School of Music, receiving a Certificate of Merit. She offers violin lessons for beginners in-person and virtually.

During the 2020 lockdown, Riya started journaling to keep herself occupied which in turn progressed from a hobby to a business – Joy of Stickers. The custom-made sticker addition came from combining Riya’s creativity with her new-found availability. A great deal of love, care and attention-to-detail go into each card and sticker she creates. Riya donates 20% of her proceeds to CHOC Children’s Hospital and Best Friends Animal Foundation.

For violin lessons visit Riya's website

For Handmade cards and stickers visit Instagram @joyofstickers

Q: What do you enjoy most about living in Ladera Ranch?
Riya: I love Ladera Ranch’s sense of community. It’s the residents that make it so wonderful, from the people I say hello to while walking my dog, the staff at school, to our loving neighbors. It has been almost three years since my family and I moved to Ladera from Irvine, but it feels like its been longer. I social and found it very easy to fit into a community that has so many activities and events being held for all ages. Everyday I wake up feeling happy and grateful to live in Ladera Ranch. 

Q: Where did you get the idea to start your businesses – teaching violin and for Joy of Stickers? 
Riya: When quarantine started I was excited to be home, but soon I was downright bored. That is why I decided to start my businesses of teaching violin and Joy of Stickers. I have been learning violin for 8 years now and love it. I wanted to turn this into a business because of my love for teaching violin. Joy of Stickers is another business I started because of my creative spirit and my love for stickers. Starting these two businesses has taught me about money management, customer service, marketing, and so much more. Rather than having nothing to do, I am excited to create something new. 

Q: You're also a talented writer, what type of writing do you enjoy?
Riya: Writing is the way I dump out all of my thoughts, from doing a research paper to just jotting ideas in my journal. I actually enjoy writing research papers because of my love for non-fiction. Since I was little I would head to the non-fiction section of the library, I was never one for fantasy or dystopian. Till this day I love reading about space, psychology, and healthy living, that is why I love writing non-fiction and research papers. 

Q: What advice or insights can you share with other teens who would like to learn how to play a musical instrument?
Riya: It is never too late! With enough practice and hard work you can learn anything. 

Q: What is the Best Friends Animal Foundation and what is your involvement?
Riya: The Best Friends Animal Society is a foundation that supports animals in adoption centers and that are in need of a home. My connection with this foundation is my love for animals. We have a dog of our own, Mocha, I want to support animals that are less fortunate so that they can be as happy as our puppy. CHOC Childrens is another foundation I support because they help kids in need and if I have a chance to help them and their families, then that is what I will do. These two foundations are deep in my heart and that is why I donate 20% of the money I make from Joy of Sticker to both Best Friends Animal Society and CHOC Childrens.

Check back for other Amazing Teen spotlights
Check out the Spring 2021 issue of Roots and Wings magazine where we spotlight some teens on page 8.

Other amazing Ladera teens: