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STAC Reflection: Ari Geller

STAC Reflection: Ari Geller

STAC Reflection: Ari Geller

Calendar December 6, 2023

I’m Ari Geller and I participated in 4Front/STAC in 10th and 11th grade, first as a participant then as a student intern. Currently, I am a junior at the University of Maryland studying Business Management, with minors in Nonprofit Leadership and Social Innovation, and Jewish Studies. I am an intern for Maryland Hillel and am currently involved with JBiz, a Jewish business club run by Meor. As a freshman and sophomore I also worked for the Do Good Institute, a nonprofit organization on campus that offers funding for student-led start-up initiatives.

My STAC experience played a crucial role in my high school career and taught me incredibly valuable lessons that I undoubtedly still rely on. First, being involved in a group of like-minded yet diverse individuals provided a safe space for me to share my perspectives while also listening and learning from others. A second important takeaway was the importance of advocacy. Constructing well-rounded arguments to support and advocate for my beliefs has been an extremely valuable tool. Lastly, the support and enthusiasm from the 4Front staff made STAC even more incredible. Every 4Front staff member that I interacted with was constantly friendly, energetic, and engaged with me and the other students in the cohort. There is no doubt that their commitment to the mission and students had a direct positive impact on everyone involved.

The most important skill that I learned in STAC that I continue to use today in college is advocacy. STAC emphasized the importance of building a powerful argument to support personal claims and beliefs, but equally as important and connected to this is exploring other perspectives and preparing to respond to opinions that do not align with your own. Over the past month and a half, I have been an outspoken advocate for Israel. I have also had a few different discussions with individuals whose opinions differ from my own. While attempting to convey my perspective, I have simultaneously prioritized listening to the other person and understanding their perspective. As much as I might disagree, they too are advocating for their beliefs.

I could not recommend getting involved with STAC or any 4Front program enough to current high school students. As I said before, I truly enjoyed being in a group that was simultaneously like-minded and diverse. It is a great opportunity to learn from people with different backgrounds and perspectives, which provides many opportunities for personal and collective growth. STAC also allowed me to directly implement what I had learned into the real world, during advocacy day, when I lobbied for tighter gun restrictions. Overall, 4Front fostered the growth of many professional skills that I constantly utilize.

Interested in STAC? Learn more and register here, registration closes Dec 18.