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BBYO Leadership Lab: Find Power in Your Words

February 15, 2019
Noah Vermes

Cherry Hill, New Jersey, United States

Communication is the foundation of our modern-day world. Particularly in BBYO, efficient communication is crucial to thriving in chapter, regional, or even international leadership roles. On Friday, February 15, BBYO’s LEADs day, delegates from across the globe visited sites across Denver to gain valuable leadership skills through engaging with the local community. Each activity that delegates attended, named “leadership labs”, incorporated speakers, influencers, and people who have achieved success across numerous fields.

One specific leadership lab, “Find Power in Your Words”, demonstrated exactly how important communication is as we delve deeper into the 21st-century.

During this lab, BBYO hosted speakers Andy Isaacson, Steven Winkelstein, and Iris Mansour, who each led their own breakout session highlighting how the written word can make an impact. Isaacson, an accomplished travel writer and photographer, spends his life traveling the world, using his articles and photographs to share his experiences, and exposing his readers to other cultures. Winkelstein, founder of Mystic Waters Publishing, stands at the forefront of marketing and digital media, working with creative writers and businesses alike. Lastly, Mansour, an acclaimed international journalism, reports on a vast number of topics and issues worldwide. Isaacson, Winkelstein, and Mansour led discussions and presentations about media, creative writing, and storytelling, respectively. Participants were able to visit two of the speakers’ sessions.

At the end, everyone joined together to listen to a discussion led by Sarah Hurwitz. Hurwitz previously worked for former First Lady Michelle Obama as a speechwriter. Providing delegates with new information about communication, organization, and the written word, Hurwitz gave delegates the opportunity to ask her questions about her experiences in said position. Miles Bader of Central Region West explained that Hurwitz “spoke so well to the power of words in a time where that was really necessary”. He also confirmed that she was able to “articulate quite how important it is to speak truly and clearly as you communicate”. Hurwitz’s panel allowed participants to learn more about a topic that truly interested them.

The program as a whole outlined the impact that communication can have on one’s life. It also showed that careers in communication and public relations can be much more broad and wide-reaching than one may think. Personally, the program opened up my eyes and allowed me to look at the written word in a whole new light. This program certainly allowed its participants to explore narrative and culture and sparked a newfound love of communication.

Noah Vermes is an Aleph from South Jersey Region and enjoys traveling, exotic food, and Brockhampton.

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