A Year In Review: Ashely’s Journey
When I walked into the group MIT interview, I had no idea what was in store. I had no idea that this program would eventually change my life. I was so nervous and anxious when it came time to present my icebreaker. I left the interview feeling more relaxed and went to the office a few days later for my one-on-one interview. I was even more nervous and found myself over talking and over thinking. I left that interview saying to myself, good luck, you’re going to need it! When I got the email inviting me to the weekend retreat, I was ecstatic! Up north, I got the chance to get to know the other Montreal MIT’s, as well as MIT’s from across Canada.
This was when I began understanding my role in the Montreal Jewish Community. I realized I could make a difference in the community, and I learnt the skills necessary to becoming a great leader. The retreat was filled with food, rapping and dancing till all hours of the night. It was on this weekend that I made everlasting friendships. Through out the year, there were monthly MIT sessions where we developed our leadership skills. While they were educational, they were also extremely fun and informative. With each session, I felt more and more comfortable, and really felt as though I was a part of something. Everyone in the program was eager to get to know one another, and everyone always had a smile on their face. The energy was so contagious and I always found that after leaving the meeting, I had more energy than when I arrived. I also caught myself going to the BIEC office early or on my own time, because I never stopped laughing! You have to understand, I was never one to get involved with the Montreal Jewish Community. Through the MIT program, I was exposed to many interesting and amazing events. Whether it be latke competitions, serving hot meals to those in need at Le Café or cupcake decorating!
This would have been enough in itself to be life changing! I was fortunate enough to have gotten the opportunity to lead a trip with BIEC’s one and only, Jer Heitner. No one could have prepared me for a more rewarding and enriching experience. Being able to watch as some participants saw Israel for the first time, and being able to watch them go from individuals to an extended family was so overwhelming. I came home with a sense of empowerment, repeating Obama’s famous slogan, “Yes, we can!” After completing my MIT program, I will never doubt myself again, because everyone at the BIEC office believed in me. Because of this year long program, I now believe in myself. I will continue to stay involved with the program, because it is now a part of who I am. I hope to give the same comfort and welcoming smiles to those walking in the door to their first MIT adventure. Get ready, it’s going to be an amazing ride!