Leadership and Beyond

2 months ago Leighest 0

By Rachel Wilkes

This past weekend I had the incredible opportunity to attend CTeen Leadership Retreat as an alumni. Being that I have spent my last five years looking up to CTeen leaders, officials, and staff, it was a remarkable chance to come back as an alumni; someone for the teens to look up to. 

From the bus ride to the Poconos to the bus ride back to New York, I feel that every moment was spent connecting to the different teens. Learning about the struggles being faced by different chapters, schools, and teens, really helped me appreciate my life. 

Zack, my co-alumni partner, and I had the great privilege of running programs, overseeing activities, and connecting with the teens on a special level. Although I had such great responsibilities on this trip, I truly feel that this was a learning experience for myself too. Seeing the immense amount of growth that these teens undertook over one weekend proved to me that I too can experience this growth.

One of my closest friends stood up in front of the entire convention and shared her story. Hearing that I inspired her religious growth was a monumental moment for me. My journey has not been easy and has truly put difficult obstacles in front of me, but hearing that I inspired even just one person, makes it all worth it. 

Rabbi Kotlarsky, one of the Rebbe’s assistants, told us a great story during Shabbat. The gist of the story was that you never know who’s life you are going to walk into and change forever. Leadership does not always mean getting the “cool kids” to attend your event or having the largest quantity of people in your chapter, but rather focusing on the quality of people. 

I am so proud of all the leaders in our world taking a stand for what they believe in. It is not always easy to be the voice of reason, but I expect nothing less from any of you. Be strong, passionate, and engaged in the upcoming year CTeeners; I expect nothing less from any of you. 

Reposted with permission. Click here to see the article on Rachel’s blog.