Every spring, Scheck Hillel Community School’s finest are put to the ultimate test as they compete for one of the school’s most prestigious awards: the role of Jaime and Raquel Gilinski Hillel Ambassador. Last year, a record eighty high school students applied, and only five were selected to receive a scholarship and represent Scheck Hillel as student leaders. This program, generously sponsored by the Gilinski family, is headed by faculty advisor and Chair of the Upper School English Department, Mr. Andrew Butler. Working closely with the Ambassadors over the course of an academic year, he guides them as they further enhance their leadership skills and molds them into the pioneers of tomorrow.
“This distinguished program aims to recognize student achievement and to support Ambassadors in their efforts to enrich the school through leadership education. Each year I encourage all of our Ambassadors to take on a project to make a difference for everyone. In the past, they have promoted healthy eating, encouraged recycling, and created chesed initiatives,” said Mr. Butler. “I have also brought in personality specialists to help the Ambassadors learn about their personal leadership styles. This facilitates leadership development skills, and allows me to guide them to reach the great heights for which they were destined. I would like to spend more time honing in on their individual virtuosity and helping them fortify both their strengths and weaknesses to transform them into unstoppable, inspirational forces.”
To be a part of this honorable program, students must first participate in a rigorous application process. The first phase consists of a complex application, which is then reviewed and scored by a panel of faculty members. Applicants must prepare a one-page resume and a 250-word cover page outlining their accomplishments and talents, as well as their personal, educational, and community experiences. They must also produce a 250-word essay about the inspirational forces that drive them, and a 30-second video promoting their personal brand. Students are additionally instructed to ask a faculty or staff member to describe them in only seven words, and to then send the adjectives to Mr. Butler. The faculty panel will carefully review every application to select finalists to reach phase two: the interview. Of these finalists, five will be selected to represent Scheck Hillel as Glinski Ambassadors.
“I remember the day they told me I had been selected, the insurmountable joy rushing through my body, the pure excitement controlling my mind. Never have I been more proud of myself, as I got the opportunity to refine my leadership skills and to be the face of the school that has always been a home to me,” said freshman and current ambassador Ilana Stiberman. “I’m very grateful that I was given the chance to be an Ambassador, but as this year comes to end, I’m confident that the new class of Ambassadors will bring great things to Scheck Hillel as well as to the greater community, and that my moment to make a difference is not yet gone.”
Applications for the 2018-19 school year opened on March 21st, and are due on April 23rd at 4 PM. “Students should avoid waiting until the last second to submit their application, as it signifies irresponsibility, which is the opposite of what we are seeking for in Ambassadors. Instead, we want students who we would be proud to have as guides for prospective parents, those with a history as leaders, and those with unique talents that give them the potential to raise the bar. ” Mr. Butler also recommends developing an application that highlights your uniqueness, and to spend some time contemplating both how you see yourself and how others see you. “This program’s goal is to continue leadership development, so make sure to put your best foot forward and do everything you can to stand out from the crowd!”
The Jaime and Raquel Gilinski Hillel Ambassador Program was designed to acknowledge and reward Scheck Hillel’s elite for their hard work, passion, and dedication to leading their communities to a brighter tomorrow. Thank you to the Gilinski family for generously sponsoring this scholarship, and best of luck to all the students applying.
The application is available here: eHillel.org/Ambassador