BBYO provides the platform to become a Jewish leader
Most 17-year-olds are trying to find their footing in this world, but Lindsay Sharman is poised, laser-focused, and prepared for her future, thanks to her experience with BBYO at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. There, she has cultivated passion, proficiencies, opportunities, friendships, and a Jewish identity.
“I had been searching for a sense of fulfillment my whole life,” Lindsay says. “I tried sports, camps, and clubs, but none truly clicked. When I went to my first BBYO event, I felt something. When I met my best friends there, it felt like home. When I won my first board position, I knew I was meant to be in the organization. When I attended my first summer program, I fell in love with the world of BBYO.”
I never would have become the bold, Jewish leader that I am today without BBYO.Lindsay Sharman
Following roles as her chapter’s N’siah (President) and Mazkirah (Secretary), Lindsay now serves as the 75th International Mazkirah. Through these positions, she developed leadership, time management, and communication skills, as well as a level of responsibility and professionalism that will carry her into college and beyond. “This is the type of leadership experience that very few teens get to have at this age,” Lindsay acknowledges.
Lindsay has also forged meaningful relationships through BBYO. “I love that the MJCCA has the Barbara and Sanford Orkin Teen House specifically for BBYO and we have our own physical space to work and host events.” BBYO facilitates friendships with peers throughout Atlanta, while Lindsay’s international role has enabled connections around the globe. “With this exposure to the international Jewish community, my worldview has broadened,” Lindsay explains. “On my phone, I can easily pull up the name of a teen from Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Russia, and the list goes on. Talking to teens from 50+ countries has been life-changing, and some of my closest friends live thousands of miles away.” This experience has profoundly impacted the trajectory of her future, sparking her plan to pursue a degree in International Relations.
BBYO has enriched Lindsay’s connection to Judaism as well. “I am a million times more involved in my Jewish roots and community,” she admits. “I have never felt more proudly Jewish than I do now. The most important thing BBYO has given me, though, is confidence. I never would have become the bold, Jewish leader that I am today without all the people I’ve met and experiences I’ve had with BBYO. I owe the organization everything.”
90% of teens surveyed said that BBYO helped them feel a stronger connection to the Jewish people.