Being on BBYO board is a completely fulfilling experience - the entire event planning process, board meetings where you’re productive for 15 minutes and then it devolves into silliness, sending in baby photos for your board post, and the unmatchable excitement of bringing an event to life and seeing people enjoy it.
I have been privileged to serve my chapter as two-term S’ganit and am currently serving as a second-term N’siah, however, I know it’s not possible for everyone to be on board. We still need general members who stay involved and are the hearts of our chapters and regions. Luckily, there are many ways to get involved in BBYO beyond serving on board. Here are some other leadership positions you can consider:
- Nom for a chapter! Another way to get involved in BBYO is to run for Beau or Sweetheart, also known as “nomming”. This is a little esoteric - how your region does them, or if they do them at all, can vary completely. If your region doesn’t have them, try getting them instated! Beaus and Sweeties, or ‘Motek’ for a BBYO option, are members of a given chapter that then join another chapter. You initially “nom” as a candidate, and then are selected by members of the chapter. As Beau or Sweetheart, you'll have the opportunity to see how another chapter does it and have a totally unique BBYO experience.
- Apply for an international award! BBYO offers a variety of international awards that recognize members, advisors, and chapters who have made significant contributions to the organization. These awards include the Tree of Life and Eternal Light awards for recruitment, the Shield of David and Star of Deborah awards for leadership, and various highly-coveted chapter excellence awards. They’re often specific to different groups, ages, and categories, so check which one you’re applying for. Also, go ahead and nominate your advisor or regional director - they’re often underthanked and overworked for their contribution. Applying for these awards is a great way to showcase your leadership skills and make a lasting impact on BBYO, and the pins are really, really cute. Check out the awards process here.
- Sign up for a summer program! CLTC, ILTC, Kallah, travel programs—all of them teach you not just about leadership and BBYO, but also about yourself. Some of my best friends came from my CLTC session, and I’m writing this from a hammock at ILTC. If the cost is prohibitive, reach out to your regional director about scholarships.
- Steer a convention! Getting to make decisions about what happens during convention is so, so exciting. I’ve served as an Administrative Assistant (head of a committee) for my past two regional conventions, in programming and logistics, and it is SO fun. You obviously get to take an active leadership role in convention, and the meetings are really, really fun. It’s a great atmosphere and a great way to get to know people in your region.
- Serve on an ILN committee or regional committee! Serving on a committee is a great way to get involved in BBYO and make a difference in your community. They’re available internationally through the ILN with deadlines to apply, and they’re available on a differing basis depending on your region, so check regularly! I served on my regional inclusivity committee this past year, and there were actual meaningful changes made as a result - BBYO separates, gender neutral language, accessibility and representative improvements throughout convention are just a few examples of what we got done.
- Submit an event to the Program Bank! The Program Bank is a library of pre-built programs written by Alephs and BBGs from around the world. Need a program to run at home? Check it out! If you’ve written and executed a successful program in your home community, sharing the process and end result with the International Order is super fulfilling and gratifying to see.
No matter which leadership position you choose, the key is to stay engaged and committed to making a difference in your community and the Order. Whether you're steering a convention, signing up for a summer program, or applying for an international award, there are many ways to get involved and make a meaningful impact in BBYO.
Ali is a BBG from Lonestar, and she has a Great Dane and a Dachshund.