By Talya Nack
When I first got involved with IMPACT, THE ASSOCIATED’s young adult division, I never believed that one day I would be with a group of 19 amazing professionals and lay leaders visiting programs and agencies halfway across the world in Odessa, Ukraine. It all started six and half years ago when I attended my first IMPACT event. Like most people, I was invited by a friend who thought that this would be a good group in which to get involved. For the next two years or so, I stayed involved, but on a pretty superficial level. I would attend social events, I even sat on the events committee for a year, and made my minimum donation. I felt that THE ASSOCIATED did great work but, not to sound selfish, I was not so sure what was in it for me.
When I was approached to participate in the Young Leadership Council (YLC), an ASSOCIATED leadership development program for young adults, I figured I would give it a shot. At worst, it would be a couple evenings I would be giving up. At best, I would find that meaningful connection that I could use moving forward. What I got in the end was better than I could have expected. One evening we heard a speaker talk about the Israel and Overseas efforts and how THE ASSOCIATED and its agencies were involved. While I cannot recall the exact details of what was discussed, I will never forget the feelings with which I left. I felt energized, hopeful, and excited about what I could do, along with IMPACT and THE ASSOCIATED, to help Jewish communities in the Baltimore area, Israel and elsewhere overseas.
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