As we are approaching the 2021-2022 school year, so many things have changed. For me, it's a new job, new people to meet, and the first time since 1999 I won’t be in a classroom. For everyone else, this school year is about getting back to some level of normalcy. Now, this doesn't mean doing away with COVID precautions but instead finding out how to get teens back to doing things that make them happy and help them grow. This is exactly the plan for our teen programs this year.
Houston Connect 68
Houston Connect 68 has its first event of the year on September 11th. The Limo Scavenger Hunt, a JCC signature event, is open to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders who want to explore Houston and meet some new friends along the way. All participants will be required to wear their mask. Register here!
When I first joined the teen team, I was so surprised by all the leadership opportunities available for the high school students. Two of those are the Jewish Teen Philanthropy Initiative (JTPI) and Target Teen Leadership.
- JTPI is currently taking applications through August 31 for 9th-12th graders interested in learning more about philanthropy. Throughout the year, participants earn 35 service hours while getting to make a real difference in their community.
- Target Teen Leadership is a program offered for 10th and 11th graders. Teens who participate have to be recommended and once they are in, they get the opportunity to hear from some of Houston's top Jewish community leaders. Personal growth is such an important value, and Target Teen Leadership is a great way to instill that value in teens.
This past year and a half have been a whirlwind of changes for everyone. Our whole world around us has changed, but I am confident one thing has stayed the same - the J will continue to offer safe, fun, and Jewish programs for Houston teens.
If you have any questions regarding teen programs or just want to chat, please reach out at BSkalsky@erjcchouston.org. I can't wait to meet everyone!
-Barrie Skalsky (she/her)