In grade 7, I wanted to join BBYO so badly, I saw how dedicated my sister was to it, and I wanted it to be my hobby as well, and it would also give something for me and her to talk about (we hadn’t had much in common before). I started to wonder what it would be like to have an older sister who has been in BBYO and has a lot of experience. I thought that it was going to affect my entire BBYO career, and this was way before I was allowed to join in grade 8. I was worried that I was going to be known as my sister’s little sister, that everyone was going to expect our decisions to be the same, such as running for the same board position at the same age. I joined right when I could in Grade 8 (before Beach day). I was never a prospect, and I had an insane amount of friends from the beginning, but I was starting to think that it was because I was HER little sister. Obviously, I couldn’t escape it, so whenever I met someone new, I would introduce myself as HER little sister. Then she started noticing and told me to snap out of it, and that if I kept doing that I would never get my own name. So, I listened to my sister and started introducing myself as Jadyn Right. Who would’ve known that I would get here, writing an article for The Shofar?
There are obviously some ups and downs of having your sister be SO well known in your Chapter and Region. When I joined, my sister was recently elected as Regional Morah. One of the huge ups is that everyone knew me and wanted to be my friend because we had the same last name. On the contrary, everyone that knew me thought that I had some crazy opportunities that they wouldn’t get to have, or that I got EVERYTHING that I applied for, which is not true!! If something that I did (an application, for example) wasn’t good enough, she couldn’t help in any way, but with practice, I learned a lot and developed my own name, my own path, and I became a true leader, not defined by my sister. By the time that this year rolled around, I was ready to take my BBYO journey to the next level, and I thank my sister so much for how she helped me grow in BBYO. Though I didn’t realize it in grade 8, I would never change what happened then.
At the end of this past year, Michelle Tanner, the 75th International Aym Ha’Chaverot came by my house to drop off her life (clothing from seniors) and gave me a letter that I live by to this day.
“I know life isn’t easy for you. I see a lot of my grade 8 self in you. Hold in there, you can do absolutely anything. I promise I will always be here, anything you need. Keep crushing it.” —Michelle Tanner, 75th International Aym Ha'Chaverot
This is advice that I will continue passing down to ANYONE in BBYO who has an older sibling, and if you have an older sibling who is trying to help you, do not push them away.
Jadyn Right is a BBG from Dor Chadash BBG #2404 in Lake Ontario Region who loves hanging out with her BBYO family.
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
There are powerful lessons of renewal in this week's Torah portion that could help us weather this time.
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