BBYO | AZA & BBG | International Convention | Summer

Identity

Submitted with Undying Love for BBYO

April 5, 2019
Amanda Baritz

Boca Raton, Florida, United States

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory,” Dr. Seuss.

In just a few short months, I will be graduating high school and moving on to college. With college comes so many changes and transitions, like moving away from home and making new friends.

For the past four and a half years, BBYO has been a part of who I am; this organization is part of my identity.

I could not picture my high school experience without having BBYO in my life. I go to a small private school in the middle of Boca Raton, Florida. In most aspects, my school is all about competition, whether it be athletically, socially, and academically. Don’t get me wrong, some friendly competition is healthy, but sometimes it can feel overhwelming. BBYO allows me to have a place where there is no competition. BBYO gives me a space to be myself and explore my Jewish identity.

As I think about where I want to attend college next year, I know that my life is going to change dramatically. I will no longer have weekly meetings nor stress about getting the early bird registration price for conventions. Not being an active member of BBYO, after 4 and a half years of chapter meetings, regional events, and international opportunities is going to be quite the adjustment.

I truly do not know what I am going to do without this organization. I can’t believe I am going to have to watch what’s going on via social media and get updates from current members and staff. I want to be the one updating past members and I want them to be watching my social media.

After I graduate in May, a piece of my personal puzzle will be missing. It sounds extreme but I will not be fully complete. However, I know that I will take the life lessons and skills BBYO has given me over the years and utilize them in the college world, professional world, and beyond.

Without this organization, I do not know who I would be. I can positively tell you that if it weren’t for BBYO, I would not have the irreplaceable friendships that I have created with teens in my region, other states, and even other countries. The experiences and opportunities that were given to me over the years would not have been made possible without BBYO. I cannot believe I am so close to becoming a BBYO alumna.

Thank you BBYO. Thank you for being my home, for being my safe space, and for being there when I needed you the most. Thank you for providing me with the greatest staff members because they are now the ones that I can happily look up to. Thank you for introducing me to my best friends. Thank you for the life-long memories. Thank you for helping me find myself and find the girl I want to be.

Thank you for being the best part of my life for the past 4 and a half years!

Amanda Baritz is a BBG from Gold Coast Region and BBYO is her life!

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