'You can make big things happen'

More than 2,500 people are expected to attend a "go green" exposition Friday at the Rose Bowl and see demonstrations and presentations by kinesiologists, engineers, entrepreneurs and an 11-year-old from Keppel Elementary School.

Talin Shahnazaryan, a Glendale native, said her 10-minute speech at the Green Expo and Showcase is meant to inspire young people to make a difference in their communities and schools.

"Saving energy is so easy, all you have to do is try," she said Thursday. "Nobody really tries to save energy, but with a little effort, you can make big things happen."

And Talin said she's keeping a cool head even though this is her first time speaking.

"I'm really excited," she said. "A lot of people get nervous, but when you think about what a great opportunity you have, you don't get nervous. You get excited to speak."

Charlene Brown, chairwoman of Lookin Green magazine, which is a main coordinator of the event, said she immediately recognized Talin's sparkle, and knew she could make a valuable addition to the line-up. Not only could she connect with many of the young children in attendance, but she could also motivate and inspire adults.

"When other kids see someone their own age….She's going to be able to speak in their language," Brown said.

Talin is no stranger to public speaking or leadership roles. She wrapped up a leadership summit in Washington D.C. this summer, which amounted to a capstone to a year of achievements, her father Patrick Shahnazaryan said.

At school, Talin was active with the school's 2010 Census project, the Green Allowance project with Glendale Water & Power, the Glendale Unified "Why I Love My School" multimedia competition and she won third place in last year's Siemens "We Can Change the World" challenge, winning $2,000 for her school.

"She takes every opportunity for every extra thing she can do and she follows through with it," her fifth-grade teacher, April Faieta, said. "She already set her goals."

At a Glendale Unified school board meeting, Talin saw there was an opportunity to be a student board member.

"She said she wanted to be there when she's in 12th grade," Faieta said.

Then there was the honor from the mayor's office, and Talin saw there were no women present, Faieta said.

"And said she wanted to be there," she said. "She can be anything she wants to be."

Talin said she wants to be a politician, but one of the popular ones.

"It's a challenging job and you get to know what's going on in the world behind the scenes," she said. "You can make a difference."

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