JN, JCC, and Youth Professionals Network to highlight 18 exceptional teens in our community.

Young people can be an underestimated bunch. But we think many of them are doing great things and making a difference in our community and in the lives of others. We bet you know some, too, and have already sung their praises to those you know.

Now is the time to shine the public spotlight on young people in our community. The JN, the Jewish Community Center and the Youth Professionals Network have created Rising Stars: Teens Making a Difference, a showcase that will highlight 18 remarkable Jewish pre-teens and teens in the Metro Detroit area. Those selected by a panel of local judges will be featured in an issue of the JN and also be recognized on the JN, JCC and JFamily social media pages.

Nominees must live in Michigan, identify as Jewish and be a student in grades 6-12; they can be self-nominated or may be nominated by others today through March 30.

Nominees should be recognized for impact, contribution and/or achievement in areas including (but not limited) to:

  • Tikkun olam, volunteerism, social action, advocacy, philanthropy
  • Academics/education
  • Athletics
  • Music & arts
  • Business & entrepreneurship
  • Overcoming obstacles and challenges
  • Jewish growth and learning
  • Leadership

“The pages of the JN are designed to reflect life in Jewish Detroit, and we often highlight young people in our community,” said Keri Guten Cohen, story development editor. “For more than a year, we have been highlighting teen mental health issues — heavy topics including depression, bullying, gender issues, drugs, suicide and more. Brave teens have stepped up to discuss their battles with these issues and have helped readers understand our community is not immune.

“We’ve also written about young people involved in entrepreneurial pursuits, academics, Israel advocacy, sports, the arts, volunteering efforts and much more. We are pleased that in April, we will celebrate a group of 18 — chai (meaning 18 and life) — fabulous young people as Rising Stars.”

Katie Vieder, director of teen engagement for JFamily at the JCC, adds, “We are so lucky to have a vibrant, passionate Jewish teen population in Metro Detroit, and our teens are doing wonderful things — pursuits worth celebrating. Through Rising Stars, we are excited to share how special teens are in Metro Detroit.”

To nominate yourself or a teen you know, click on the Rising Stars button on the JN site or go to jccdet.org/RisingStars. The deadline is March 30.

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