I have a kind of weird riddle: You may have never heard of me, but I have heard of you. Your parents probably call me more than they call your teachers. I know what you did last summer and have ideas about how you may want to spend your school break. I know your name, but I don’t know your face. Who am I?
The answer to the riddle is that I am Amanda and for the past two years I have been the Teen Engagement Coordinator for Springboard. I work behind the scenes at Springboard supporting the team’s strategy and execution. I make sure that we have food and swag wherever we go, that programs are filled and run smoothly, and most recently I purchased a balloon wall. In short, I have an amazing and ever-changing job! While I don’t always get to meet the teens we work with, I still feel like I have gotten to know you. I helped your parents sign you up for your first Springboard School Break, I saw you honored and in attendance at 18 under 18, and I heard the Teen Engagement Specialists share their excitement as you explored new Jewish experiences and deepen your connection within the Chicagoland Jewish community. Sometimes I even got to run the Springboard Instagram account and that’s probably where I got to know you best.
Sadly for me, this summer I will be leaving the Springboard team to move to Boston. Before I go, I wanted to take over the Springboard blog for the first and last time to say a THANK YOU to our Springboard Teens!
Thank you for getting to know Springboard and for joining us on some awesome school break experiences. In the last three years we have sent 238 Chicagoland teens all over the country to enjoy fun and meaningful, Jewish experiences led by incredible community partners.
Thank you for letting me learn from you. I learned more about finstagram, flash-tats, pop sock-its, Polaroids, snapchat streaks, bottle flipping, and live streams than I ever imagined. But more importantly, I learned that teens today are the most inspiring leaders we have. I don’t get the chance to interact with you very often, but when I do, I’m impressed by your passion, energy and commitment to the things that you believe in.
When I was a teenager we were called the “Leaders of Tomorrow.” Through you, I have come to understand why everyone says you can, and should be, the leaders of today. So even though I have never met most of you, thank you for letting me support you on your journey to becoming the amazing young adults I know you will be.
To all of our non-teen readers: If you are passionate about teen programming and engagement, please consider applying to be Springboard’s next Teen Engagement Coordinator. Through my work behind-the-scenes, I grew as a Jewish professional and developed critical skills necessary for advancing my goal of helping more teens find connection within the Jewish community. I have learned so much that I cannot fit into this blog and I am happy to share it with you. Feel free to contact me and I can talk to you for a really long time about how much I love my job and my co-workers.
Let me say one last thank you to our Springboard community. I will miss you!