By Katie Freedman, Manchester, UK The highlight of my year…
Sixteen year old Rachel Wilkes, CTeen chapter leader of Hollywood, Florida, is changing the landscape for teen leadership.
During a monthly online meeting with CTeen HQ and fellow leaders across the world, Rachel suggested that management of CTeen International’s SnapChat account be transferred to chapter leaders. Recognizing just how vital these leaders and their input has been to the network’s success and rapid growth, Rachel’s motion was considered and granted by overwhelming support — bringing teen empowerment to a whole new level.
The monthly gatherings create a space that encourages teen involvement, innovation, and unity. “Meeting the leaders online and sharing ideas and challenges makes us family” shares Samuel Gabbay, leader of CTeen Côte s. Luc, Quebec.
The leaders were briefed on CTeen’s halachic standards in managing the account, discussing creative ways to implement these guidelines and utilize social media in a positive, constructive manner.
It was evident from the leaders’ engagement in the conversation that they are ready and worthy of this great responsibility. Programs often take place simultaneously at CTeen chapters around the globe, and Rachel was appointed to organize a calendar allotting SnapChat time slots for each leader.
At the recent CTeen Leadership Retreat, Rabbi Mordechai Lightstone, Chabad.org’s social media expert, addressed G-d’s purpose in guiding the development of technology — that it aid in the spreading of G-dliness. “Do you all even realize how much CTeen believes in you guys!” Lightstone exclaimed before posing for a group snap with the leaders.
During the closing ceremony of the retreat, the following video was shown, capturing a year of SnapChat highlights.
Even with the summer hiatus of CTeen programs in many locales, the SnapChat account is still busy and vibrant. Rachel’s calendar now divides time slots for leaders attending the CTeen Xtreme Boys and Girls divisions. This week, the account will be posting stories from Poland and Israel, with leaders sharing highlights from their journey with CTeen’s new debut summer camp, Heritage Quest.