Ariel (r) bonds with her fellow staff members
I didn’t start reading the news until I was twenty years old. I’m studying educational policy at Hunter college and I want to change the world. I have always wanted to change the world. But when I was a high-schooler I was focused on the immediate, on grades and drama and how I would get out of my small town. These students take time out of their already busy high school lives to read the news and inform themselves about the issues they care about. They spent the winter break they could have been lounging around the house and binge-watching TV, helping people and learning about how to help people. This AWB involved less short-term service and instead gave the students tools, experience, and knowledge that will help forward their futures in service. This trip was about helping people, but it was more about finding the spark and inspiration to help people for their whole lives. My brother did AWB NOLA last year and enjoyed the experience so much that he’s planning on spending a gap year building houses in New Orleans. Young Judaea is a movement of wonderful people who will change the world with their work. These are so intelligent, passionate, funny, and driven to make change. I’m not sure if Young Judaea molds them to be this way, or if the movement draws such wonderful people, but I am so lucky to have spent a week listening to these students think deeply about the state of the world. I was constantly awestruck by their thoughts and the level of articulation with which they convey them. We, as a Movement are lucky to be carried by this future. I’m excited to see where they end up and grateful for every day I spend with them.
~ Ariel is a Junior at Hunter College and is a veteran staff member at Sprout Lake. She is finishing up a semester as the Adviser for NJ Young Judaea. Later this month she is heading to Israel for the Nachshon Fellowship.