by Brittany Abramowicz
The best part of my job working as a Teen Engagement
Specialist with Springboard is getting to visit different area youth groups and
programs and meeting amazing teens. Most weekends, I attend activities
organized by teen leaders who are dedicated to Jewish community, helping those
in need, and making Jewish involvement accessible to everyone. This is why it
gives me so much joy to be working on 18
Under 18: A Celebration of Jewish Teens.
This distinction recognizes teens from different corners of the Chicago-area
with diverse Jewish backgrounds, practices, and interests. I look forward to
the program on April 25th when we will come together as a community to celebrate 18 special teens and inspire
The nomination process began last month. As this is a brand
new program, I really had no idea what to expect. Teachers have been nominating
their students, teens have been nominating friends and organizational leaders,
youth directors have been nominating program participants, and many other
people have submitted the names of teens they believe are deserving of this
honor. I have been struck by how
impressive the applications that we have received are. While these teens are all very different there
are some important commonalities: they all have a strong sense of self, they
understand and utilize their strengths and look at their weaknesses as
opportunities, they don’t settle and they rally their peers and adults to work
with them and see different perspectives.
We are truly lucky to have all of the nominees in our community.
Nominations are being
accepted through Friday, January 27th. At that point, JTAC
(Jewish Teen Alliance of Chicago), an advisory board made up of representatives
from many area youth groups, will review and select the 18 honorees. 18 teens will be honored at the first ever 18
Under 18 community-wide celebration event on April 25. Check back here to learn about
the incredible teens once they are selected and for more information on
attending what we believe will be an amazing event.
If you’d like to
nominate a teen, you can find the forms and more information on the JTAC page.