November 30, 2023
My name is Samantha, I am a junior at Richard Montgomery High School, and I am returning to the Leaders For Tomorrow (LFT) program for a second year as a facilitator. I initially applied for the LFT program after an antisemitic incident at my school. This incident was incredibly shocking to me, as I spend much of my time deeply involved in Jewish communities, like my sleepaway camp, BBYO chapter, and synagogue. I felt like I wasn't informed enough to speak up for myself and my loved ones, and wanted to become an educated advocate.
The LFT program has made me so much more confident in speaking about my cultural identity, connection to Israel, and experiences as a Jewish teen today. It provided a space to be able to discuss a variety of topics, ranging from anti-semitism on campus to the cultures of the Middle East, with peers with similar experiences. The program fostered a sense of community in our monthly sessions, creating a welcoming and educational environment. I agreed to return to LFT as a facilitator because the discussions that I participated in were so enriching and challenging, always leaving me with something to think about.