April 2021. My chapter N’siah sends a message in our GroupMe about running for board. A seemingly terrifying concept, that seemed so far away, yet still something I wanted to experience. As I opened the election packet, each aspect inspired me, and the more I read, the more I was convincing myself. I had to run.
Running for board is a commitment. Creating a unique and eye-catching platform is important. Additionally, it’s necessary to make a convincing and energetically enthusiastic speech so the audience can feel your passion. This was a challenge I was ready to start.
I have now run for board twice. Once successfully, and the other unsuccessfully, yet I am equally grateful for both experiences. I have learned so much from both, despite the different outcomes. The first time I ran, I really didn’t know what to expect. I had never been to an in-person election, due to Covid, and although I was getting advice from my sister, she had never run, so she didn’t know what to truly expect either. Through the process of running, I learned so much. Between understanding what a platform really is, and how to create one, as well as exactly how to put my goals, ideas, and passions for my chapter and BBYO as a whole into one three-minute speech. I gained so much knowledge that I never would have otherwise gathered. Creating a speech may seem simple, but there’s truly no “right” or “good” way to put all your thoughts into a few coherent paragraphs that convince a large group of people to vote you onto their board. You just need to be yourself. When I won, I was ecstatic. But I learned even more the second time I ran.
When I lost board, I was devastated. I thought I put my all into my candidacy; my platform, my speech, and my composure. But looking back, I hadn’t. I know I could’ve added a few extra lines to my speech to spice it up, or added an extra idea or two onto my platform that would have elevated my chances. I missed the opportunity to convey what I truly wanted. I didn’t though, and that’s ok. Because I learned so much, politics aside, about myself, and how much BBYO really means to me.
Of course being on board, whether chapter, council/regional, or international, is an exciting and fulfilling task. It’s arguably not the most important role of a member of BBYO, though. That’s reserved for the general members. Running for board is such a privilege, and I loved it, every time I did. Don’t get me wrong, I loved being on board. But having the opportunity to run and lose has truly taught me more about who I am as a person, as a BBG, and as a member of my chapter. I chose to take my defeat as a learning opportunity.
For those of you who may be unsure about running, for any reason, do it. It doesn’t matter if you think you’ll lose; you never know what will happen, and election results will always surprise you. It doesn’t matter if your friend is running against you; don’t let it ever come between the friendship. It doesn't matter if you think you’re unqualified; your dedication and drive to improve the chapter is enough.
Running for board, both times, were some of the greatest decisions of my life, and I would recommend to anybody eligible to take the opportunity and run with it.
Julia Megibow is a BBG living in Commack, New York, who loves gymnastics, all things music (specifically Taylor Swift and Dean Lewis), and will always love a big bowl of fruit!
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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