When Chase Mandell joined David Berger AZA No. 1823 chapter of BBYO, he leapt in with both feet.

The Solon High School student helped both bolster and retain membership, plan events and became a mentor to members of his chapter board.

His BBYO chapter won most improved chapter at the April 4 virtual Ohio Northern Region awards banquet.

And Mandell, who is the vice president of programming for his chapter, was honored with the Kaufman Family Involvement Award.

The gift of Judy and David Kaufman, and their three children: Barry, Lainie and Melissa, consists of a $3,000 prize toward college expenses. The first award was given in 2012.

“Our purpose with this award is to honor and recognize a high school senior for their BBYO contributions at the chapter level,” the Kaufman family wrote in a statement on the purpose of the award. “We remember what senior year is like, and how hectic it can be. That’s why we feel that staying active with your chapter through this year is worthy of an award. Over the years, we’ve read wonderful stories about what BBYO means to Alephs and BBGs like you, and the amazing contributions you continue to make through your final year.”

The award is for an AZA or BBG applicant who is completing high school this year. The applicant must be: graduating with a minimum 3.0 grade-point average, accepted to college for fall 2020; and an active and involved member of their chapter in the Ohio Northern Region BBYO for the past three years. The application was in three parts, one of which was completed by the candidate, the second by an adviser, and the third part was a signature page, which was removed from the application before judging.

Mandell, 18, will apply his award to Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., where he is headed in fall 2020 to study political science.

He said he became involved in BBYO through a friend at Camp Wise in Claridon Township when he was in his freshman year. He enjoyed the brotherhood at BBYO and landed a board seat in his sophomore year of high school.

The son of Laurie and Adam Mandell of Solon, he celebrated his bar mitzvah at The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood.

“I helped them with their strategies,” he said of his work on the BBYO board, adding that his finely honed time-management skills allowed him to devote time to developing the chapter of about 20 and bolster participation in events. “I think I’m a very outgoing, extroverted person. I’m able to meet new people.”

“The banquet was a Zoom call,” said Mandell, adding his award was the first to be presented. “I had to wave my hand so they could see who I am.”

He said he wanted to especially thank the Kaufman family.

Publisher’s note: Adam Mandell is vice president of sales at the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company and David Kaufman is the president of the Cleveland Jewish News Foundation Board of Directors.

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