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Project Teen-Seed613 Cohort 3 Launch Night By: Stephanie Levitt

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I looked out at the audience, seeing everybody’s interested eyes and warm smiles, as I clenched my notecard and rehearsed my lines in my head.  

It was Launch Night for Project Teen-Seed613, something my cohort and I looked forward to for seven months. For seven months, we attended seminars and worked tirelessly on our projects.  

It all came down to this presentation. The public needed to like our idea so that all our hard work would be worth it.  

My group gave our presentation on an app my group designed called Savr and it felt like the quickest seven minutes of my life. Our goal was to reduce food waste by providing customers with ways to track the food they have in their house so that they can use that food before it expires or find an environmentally-friendly use for it if it’s past expiration.  

When my presentation was over and I was back in my front row seat, I felt an overwhelming calmness inside me, as my mind floated back to the first meeting of the third cohort of Project Teen-Seed613 - I walked into the room, nervous and excited to meet the other girls and jump right into the program. When I met the other girls, I knew I was welcomed and appreciated for being my true self, which is unfortunately not common in our society today.  

When I came back to the reality of Launch Night, I was captivated by the other two presentations. We also had the opportunity to hear from an inspiring Jewish female entrepreneur who shared her wealth of knowledge for younger generations. 

As I listened to all three of these presentations, I realized how lucky I was to be in a room full of people that wanted to support me, my ideas, and this program. I realized that not everyone gets the opportunity to join a program like Project Teen-Seed613, but at JCC Chicago, they make sure that every teen in the program has the time of their lives over seven short months.   

Project Teen-Seed613 empowers Jewish teen girls to work together to identify challenges in the community and create solutions, whether big or small, that will make a meaningful difference. Fellows will practice innovative problem solving, critical thinking and human-centered design project design, discuss pressing social issues, learn business skills such as marketing, fundraising and budgeting tactics, and create community among peers. 

Applications are now open for Cohort 4 (November 2019-May 2020)! For more information and to apply, visit or contact Julie at