Commitment Project Highlights Importance of Conservation & Wildlife Preservation

Eli explains how simple choices like the length of a shower impact the environment for polar bears. He shocked the Fellows when he said their population had declined by 80% in the past 20 years.

At Progressive Business Publications, we take our public responsibilities seriously.  Not only are we invested in empowering our people and improving our community through a wide range of philanthropic projects, but we are also invested in training the next generation.  This blog focuses on an inspiring young man and his commitment project.

One of our key programs for developing young people of promise is the Satell Teen Fellowship for Leadership and Social Activism, now entering its ninth year, a highly select and competitive year-long experience for high school juniors and seniors created in partnership with The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

Each cohort of eighteen students meets with regional leaders, participates in leaders training and enjoys three unique trips including an eleven day visit to Israel.  Most importantly, each Satell Fellow is guided in identifying a societal issue and creating a “commitment project” to address that issue.  The Fellows support one another as they learn about the power of one person to change the world.  They are trained and encouraged to think “we, not me”.

Eli L, Satell Fellow ’13, shares his reflection:  “For me, Tikkun Olam, or “Repairing the World”, is one of the most important Jewish values.  I have tried to uphold and apply this value throughout many aspects of my life. I have always enjoyed helping others by volunteering.  The most intensive has been through the Junior Ambassador Program at the Philadelphia Zoo.

Since I began working at the Philadelphia Zoo in the Junior Ambassador Program, the issue of conservation and protecting endangered species has been important to me, and became the focus of my Commitment Project.  Through the program, I have learned a huge amount about many different animals and the challenges they face all over the world. Many wildlife creatures are in danger of extinction and much of the cause is due to humans and the choices we make.

Through my work in the program, I have been learning about animals in danger, and it is my job, as a Junior Ambassador, to teach zoo visitors about the animals, conservation, and the things that we can do to preserve wildlife throughout the world. The value of Tikkun Olam is represented literally in this effort, as conserving and restoring the natural environment is truly an act of “Repairing the World”.

Being a Junior Ambassador gives me the unique opportunity to pass this knowledge on to others in an effort to improve conditions for wildlife all over the world.  My individual efforts toward making the world a better place may be limited, but if I can inspire others by educating and building awareness, my efforts are multiplied and will have greater impact.  “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better it’s not.”  -Dr. Seuss”

At the close of the Fellows’ 2013 year, Eli invited his cohort to a private tour and update at the Philadelphia Zoo.  A group of Fellows joined the Satell Leadership Team, marveling at how invested Eli was in his commitment project, and how eloquently he can speak on the call to repair the earth.  This compelled him to further his role in implementing a conservation program for kids at the zoo.  His commitment has required a huge investment of his time, but his knowledge and passion are impressive. Eli knew every fact by heart, and every animal by name.  The Fellows agreed it was inspiring to recognize the depth of his involvement.

Elana W, Satell Fellow ’13, explains:  “Eli gave us all the opportunity to visit him in his workplace, the Philadelphia Zoo, while he privately toured and taught us about the animals and their habitats.  In addition to having a great time seeing the zoo, the special tour Eli gave us was extremely informative and expertly done.  Eli’s commitment project was not only to bring us to the zoo but to explain to us the danger that many different endangered species face and instruct us on how we can help them.  We often hear the terms “global warming” and “conservation” but do not always realize the severity of these issues or how easily we can help them.  Eli led us through exhibits which explained how our actions, such as wasting water or energy, negatively affects the ecosystems in which we live.

It is our responsibility as humans to understand the impact our technological advancements have created in the world, and we must adapt our ways to ensure that we do not harm the other species among us.  Small actions like switching off electricity and recycling lead to big improvements all around the world.  Eli taught us it is our duty to perform these small actions.  As Satell Teen Fellows, we understand the importance of being responsible for our own actions and being proactive in solving issues.  Eli’s commitment project was a fun and interesting way of showing us how we can help the planet!”

Ed Satell, Founder and CEO of Progressive Business Publications whose vision for training and empowering young leaders was the genesis of the Satell Teen Fellowship said: “Each year I’ve been amazed at the energy, dedication and passion our Fellows bring to their projects.  I think they represent the best in youth leadership.  They give me hope for the future.”

Progressive Business Publications is proud of Eli’s efforts to fulfill his public social responsibilities, and inspired by the difference he is making!

Leave a Reply