As many of you might know, September 26th was a fantastic night for BBYO because it was the official launch night for International Convention 2020. I was one of the lucky few that got to experience it at BBYO’s actual headquarters in Washington, D.C.
On September 26th at 7:00 pm, I got on the metro and headed downtown with my friends Avi and Natalie. We got off at the Gallery Place metro station and walked four blocks to get to BBYO’s headquarters! We could not contain our excitement about getting to spend IC launch night at the International Office with all the staff members that help make our organization run on a day to day basis.
Once we arrived, we were greeted by our advisor, Julia, who works at BBYO HQ, and our friend Ellie, a member of the other DC BBG chapter. Julia, along with the rest of the staff, were all seated around a conference table in the meeting room. There was a massive zoom call that showed the IC launch parties from different regions all over the world. The room was filled with excitement, as we were all waiting for the clock to hit 8:00 pm.
Once we put our bags down and got settled, we went into the conference room and watched staff get ready for the IC 2020 registration site to go live. Before the registration site went live to the public, my friends and I were one of the first people to register for IC! We watched as the number of delegates registered increased by the minute. We were also able to witness NRE: D.C. Council, our community, become the first council to hit 100 delegates for IC 2020!
As soon as registration officially went live, the phone lines started to ring, and staff got busy answering phone calls from parents and teens who had questions about the registration process, and other staff members made sure the website stayed up and running. Being able to see all the behind the scenes work that goes into the registration process was super interesting and exciting. When you register at home behind a computer screen, you do not get to see the amount of work put into IC launch night. So being at the International H.Q. live in-person made me appreciate all the hard work that our staff puts into making the registration process smooth and easy.
While we were there, we had the opportunity to talk to the interns who were just a few years older than us. Getting to talk to them, made us super excited about one day possibly being able to make a long-lasting impact on BBYO beyond high school. They told us that they loved working at BBYO HQ, and it has been an amazing experience for them thus far. We also talked to them about BBYO summer experiences, particularly BBYO passport and how it expanded to other countries over the past few years. Teenagers currently in BBYO, now have opportunities to go on trips that were not available 2-3 years ago. What surprised me most was that most of the staff would stay at H.Q. past midnight to help teens who were across the country and around the world with any IC related information.
Overall, I am so grateful for the international staff who invited us into their office on one of the busiest nights of the year. My friends and I left BBYO HQ that night feeling excited about the next coming months and we can not wait to attend IC in February!
Elena Rubens Goldfarb is a BBG from Yachad BBG #159 in Northern Region East: DC Council #54 and her favorite food is potatoes.
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