Igniting the Spark: My journey of Passion and Belonging in BBYO

June 14, 2023
Kylee Garfield

Redondo Beach, California, United States

Class of 2026

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Put yourself out there. If you're passionate about something, dig deeper into it. Passion leads to drive and perseverance. BBYO is my passion. My journey in BBYO began in the middle of 8th grade, at PWR’s spring kickoff. Prior to this event, I registered as a member, but knew nothing about this organization in which I was apart. After quitting gymnastics, starting at a new school and leaving my acting company, I was looking for a place to call home. By the end of my first event, I had already made a bunch of friends, and I felt a new community around me. This event was just the start of my journey in BBYO.

Spring Convention, 2022. After a long bus ride alone to the convention, I grabbed my suitcase and was off to my cabin. In my cabin, I met a group of girls who welcomed me into their friend group with open arms. I then connected with a senior, who I would spend the next two days with. She guided me, introduced me to people, and showed me truly how much fun a convention could be. Our separates program was incredible. In a way, it reminded me of this program in which my acting studio would do every year. Due to this, I didn't feel like I was the “new member” anymore, as this type of connecting to others was something I was used to. I felt relieved, like I had finally found a place that I could call home. My spark was lit, almost ready to be set aflame.

Camp BBYO 2022. The place where I finally knew, BBYO was my passion. The 10 days I spent in Pennsylvania kept my spark and grew it stronger than ever. Not only did I feel a community around me in California, I had friends all over the world, who loved me for me. The people at camp were my family. If I think back to the last time I was truly happy, it was camp. No stress about getting homework done, no chores to do, I just would wake up every day and feel more connected to my jewish identity and more passionate about BBYO. I never wanted to leave.

When I got back from camp, I immediately applied for ILN committees. I wanted to be more active in the organization which gave me a home. Soon, I was elected to the Codes of Conduct committee, where I wrote the rules and agreements to be a part of BBYO. Being a part of this, I was proud to know I made change in this community. I was then elected as Nsiah, doing my best to keep my chapter as strong as possible. In my time as Nsiah, I steered IC leads day, steered my spring convention and was elected as the AZAA/BBGG coordinator for my region. All this being said, I urge you to put yourself out there. Sign up for anything and everything you want. ILN applications for the coming year are open, so APPLY! Be an active part of your community. Spend time doing something you really care about. Passion enables drive and perseverance!

Submitted with undying love for Camp BBYO 2022 and summer programs, I remain Kylee Garfield, a forever proud BBG

Kylee Garfield is a BBG living in Redondo Beach and has never been stung by a bee.

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.

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