The Lenet family shares their experiences as a 4Front parent, Social Innovation Fellow and Diller Teen Fellows.
Melissa Lenet: 4Front parent and advisory committee member
4Front has been wonderful for both of my teens. They have been exposed to new experiences that have expanded their view of our world, and forged new friendships with kids they otherwise wouldn’t have known.
My younger son is in the SIF program and is enjoying learning about entrepreneurship and business development. My older son is a Diller fellow and is loving the camaraderie, team building and student involvement in programming.
4Front has something for everyone and is a great supplement to their Jewish practice and foundation.
Justin Lenet, 9th Grade, Social Innovation Fellow:
Why did you decide on participating in the Social Innovation Fellowship?
I wanted to participate in the SIF program because as someone who enjoys investing, I also really like the idea of being an entrepreneur. Additionally helping teens in the Jewish community explore their Judaism is something that is very important to me, so I was very enthusiastic to join this program. I hope to use the knowledge I learn in SIF to someday become a future entrepreneur.
What do you enjoy most about SIF?
I enjoy being able to create ideas for products and services to help Jewish teens in the Baltimore area deal with many of the socioeconomic problems we are covering, like the lack of nutritional knowledge or teen mental health. This is very important to me because ensuring that teens have the skills for success in adulthood is crucial, so it makes me happy knowing that the work that we are doing in our program is very impactful.
What has been the most valuable thing you have learned from this program?
The most valuable thing from the SIF program that I have learned is the skills to become a successful entrepreneur. This is because knowing these skills that Henrik and Or have taught us allows me to be successful in the future, and have the ability to use what I have learned to help Jewish teens in my area. I hope to use the entrepreneurial skills learned from the program to help Jewish teens in the future.
Why should other teens participate in the Social Innovation Fellowship?
Other teens should definitely participate in SIF because it merges the ideas of becoming an entrepreneur and using the skills from that to help people. The skills that will be taught in this program, like creating a viable problem statement and analyzing the market are very good skills to use for young entrepreneurs in any field. So knowing these skills and how to solve some of the major issues that many teens are dealing with in the Baltimore area allows people to do lots of good for the community.
Jacob Lenet, 11th Grade, Diller Teen Fellows
Why did you decide on participating in Diller Teen Fellows?
I am always looking for ways to stay involved in the Jewish community, and Diller intrigued me because of the opportunities it provides to do service around my community with Jewish teens all my age. I also enjoy the leadership opportunities that come from being a Diller teen fellow and how being a member allows me to expand the scope of my Judaism and learn about it at the same time. Diller also provides its members with an opportunity to travel to Israel for three weeks over the summer and to do activities with the Diller cohort in Ashkelon, and for me, this chance to travel, meet new people, and go to our homeland is not one to miss.
What do you enjoy most about Diller?
What I enjoy most about Diller is the closeness of our Cohort and our passion to do work as a group. I’ve made so many new friends through Diller and this has allowed me to further participate in our cohort’s Mifgashim. I also enjoy the new relationships I’ve made with the fellows in Ashkelon and I can’t wait to meet them in person when they come to Baltimore for JCM (Jewish Community Mifgash) and also the other cohorts around the world when we travel to Israel over the summer.
What has been the most valuable thing you have learned from the program?
I have learned many things from Diller, but the most important thing I can take away from Diller is what it takes to be a real leader. When I started the program, I had heard how much leadership is engraved within Diller but I didn’t know if I’d be able to really become a leader within the cohort. However, after learning more from my peers and leaders in the community about how, for example, to overcome a tough challenge, I felt empowered to stand up even more and had that extra boost of confidence to push me forward.
Why should other teens participate in Diller Teen Fellows?
I think other teens should participate in Diller because it’s a place to step back from the stresses of life and focus on Judaism along with the other fellows in the group. We have good laughs, do very fun activities, and sometimes get energetic and playful. Diller is a great place to make new friends and branch out, especially to people you may not be close with or didn’t know at all. Every single Mifgash, Shabbaton, or other event Diller holds is truly a great experience and everyone is always happy to be there.
Become a 4Front family too! Visit Teen Programs | 4Front Baltimore for more information.