This past Sunday, the third cohort of the Springboard Peer Ambassadors had an amazing kick off meeting. We are very excited about our cohort of seventeen teen leaders. Between us all, we are members of ten different congregations, attend twelve city and suburban high schools, and are excited to get involved in more local Jewish youth programs. The Peer Ambassadors’ activities are rooted in the value of Areyvut ערבות (community-mindedness). We work to increase awareness about amazing Jewish teen programs happening in the Chicago area community and help create Jewish connections for their peers. Sophia R., a senior at Vernon Hills High School, shared, “As a Peer Ambassador, I hope more people can experience all that there is to offer within the Jewish youth group community.”
In addition to enjoying tacos in the sukkah and getting to know each other at Sunday’s workshop, we practiced relationship-based engagement. A key responsibility of Peer Ambassadors is to connect with other teens in the community, so we started that process by getting to know each other by asking each other about the story behind our names. We learned that the key to relationship-based engagement is to really understand a person individually and meet them where they are.
Now that we have officially started our ambassadorship, be on the lookout for opportunities to connect us through one-on-one conversations, at community programs, and at our individual programs that we are planning. Sophie D., a senior at Jones College Prep, shared, “I am excited to be a Peer Ambassador to introduce new teens to great Jewish programs around the Chicago area.” We are all excited to explore meaningful connections with our friends and peers!
Learn about all of the Peer Ambassadors and why they are excited for this year here. If you are interested in connecting with a Peer Ambassador, email Springboard at Springboard@juf.org.