LEADS Plenary Inspires Teens to Rise Up

The first full day of IC started off strong with the LEADS Plenary. This inspiring program featured a series of engaging speakers who shared their stories and wisdom.

The plenary began with a beautiful rendition of “Rise Up” by Andra Day. The program then moved on to feature many speakers who explained their personal experiences of how they rose up, and their advice on how BBYO teens can rise up in their own way.

These speakers included Caryl Stern, President and CEO of UNICEF USA; Susan Bro, Co-Founder of the Heather Heyer Foundation; Mike Signer, former Mayor of Charlottesville; MK Omer Barlev, a member of the Israeli Knesset, Zionist Camp; and many more.

A crowd favorite was Zachary Pamboukas, a third grader who was born missing part of his arm. He explained how he had received a bionic arm from the organization Limbitless Solutions, and how he created a comic book with his brother that will be sold with all profits going to Limbitless in order for other children just like him to receive bionic limbs. The nine year old also imparted many pieces of advice, including to always try to be your best.

Aly Raisman, world-champion gymnast and best-selling author, was another well-loved speaker, who spoke passionately about kindness and courage.

The LEADS Plenary was an incredibly inspirational experience, and we will walk away with plenty of lessons to take to heart. We are ready to rise to the occasion of LEADS Day, and are excited for what will become a great day during BBYO International Convention 2018. 

—Darby Krugel, IC 2018 Press Corps Team