My name is Adele Colson, and I am a Social Justice advocate home based in Lansing and a member of Congregation Shaarey Zedek in East Lansing. I attend Holt High School where I am captain of the school’s Varsity Debate and Forensics team and can be seen on stage acting, singing and dancing in my school’s productions. I was the closing speaker for the March for Our Lives event last year in Lansing, representing the youth and the Jewish community who no longer want to see gun violence in schools and anywhere else. My topic for the year is gun violence prevention because it is close to her heart and something I would like to see change for the better.
My name is Ryan Goodman and I am a Sophomore at Groves High School. I am from West Bloomfield, and belong to Temple Beth El, where I am a member of BETY. I am focusing on water shutoffs in Detroit, and how they are affecting citizens who can't pay for water. I was drawn to this particular topic because I have always been drawn to community service, and couldn't imagine people facing a life without this basic need.
Hi, my name is Brett Katzen. I am a sophomore at Walled Lake Northern High School. I live in West Bloomfield with my parents, older brother Jared and my little sister Cami. I belong to Temple Israel and am a board member of Shapiro AZA. I also play baseball and tennis for my school. I am focusing on reducing the epidemic of gun violence in our society. This problem is affecting people of all ages and economic backgrounds, and too many people are dying. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students inspired me at the March for Our Lives (which I attended in D.C.) to believe that teens can make a difference and be the change!
My name is Lily Kollin. I am a senior at North Farmington High School in Farmington Hills and I attend Temple Israel. In my "spare time" one can see me fiercely chanting at political rallies, leading the drumline at my high school, or cuddling with my dogs on a rainy day. I don't go anywhere without a pair of semi-cheap headphones that always seem to be playing some political podcast or a random Broadway musical. I have grown up in a family that preaches the importance of Tikkun Olam and the invaluable deed of standing up for those who do not have the power to stand up for themselves. Social action and political engagement is my way of standing up for those around me. This year as an intern at Be the CHANGE, I will be focusing on further understanding and bettering the mental health resources within public schools in my community.
My name is Meredith Parr and I am a proud leader and senior at Bloomfield Hills High School. I live and grew up in Bloomfield Hills and I am an active member at Temple Shir Shalom. Through Be The CHANGE, I will be focusing on food equity and food access because of my passion to research and advocate for people who don’t have accessible nutritious foods available, and to make a positive impact on the community, and communities around Michigan. I also feel that because I am Jewish, it is our responsible to engage in tikkun olam (one serving of fruits and veggies at a time)!
My name is Ari Richardson and I am a senior at Farmington High School in Farmington. I go to Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills and will be focusing on inclusion in Be the CHANGE this year. I hope to make a difference in my community!
My name is Sophie Sherbin and I am currently a senior at Bloomfield Hills High School. I have grown up as part of the Temple Shir Shalom community and am the proud president of Shir Shalom Temple Youth (SSTY). I am extremely passionate about social justice because I believe that quality life for all will not be achieved without equality and inclusion for all. As an intern for Be the CHANGE this year, I will be focusing on the issue of inclusion; specifically, delving deeper into the way mental health is addressed in local schools. I am beyond excited to see where this journey takes me.
My name is Benji Stern, and I am from West Bloomfield. I am a 9th grader at Bloomfield Hills High School and a part of Temple Israel. This year, I will be focusing on inclusion. I am passionate about social justice because I want to see every person treated equally. I hate seeing and hearing about injustice and I want to help put an end to it. I love helping people, and Be the CHANGE is a great way to do that!
Be the CHANGE (Choose High-Powered Action, Get Energized) gives Jewish teens in southeast Michigan a chance to grow in their understanding of social justice-related issues they are passionate about and the means to fight for those issues with the widest and deepest possible reach. CHANGE interns spend the first half of the year engaging in deep learning with local experts and mentors on a social justice topic of their choice. In the second half of the year, interns create and implement social justice programs for Jewish teens from through southeast Michigan and beyond. Interns are mentored by a Regional Youth Specialist who oversees all programs and administration.