By Danny Becker, David Project Campus Coordinator I was walking through a train station today and realized that just six months ago I was walking across a stage getting my undergraduate diploma.
The young man that crossed that stage that afternoon was anxious, eager and scared to get his life moving. He was excited to move from his home state, Michigan, and move to the big city that is Boston. He was eager about starting his first “big boy” job, and anxious if he was going to be able to do the task set in front of him. I would be interested to see if that young man would have ever thought that half of a year later he would be on his way to New York City and not be able to remember just how many times he had been to the city. That Midwestern guy would probably look at me with wide-eyes and say that the city is terrifying and he is not interested.
Little did I know New York – along with New Jersey and Tennessee - would become a second home. When I visit New York or any other campus, I don’t get anxious about whether I will stick out or if I will get lost. Instead I am excited to see the students and professionals that I call my partners on campus, and eager to make a difference in the campus environment.
The first trips to campus are always exciting. You get to visit the students that you know well and have worked with, but also the students that you will get to know and have the opportunity to work with for the first time. You will sit down with your team and discuss goals and expectations for the year, including what non-Jewish communities you will focus on as well as the exciting process that is recruitment for Israel Uncovered. Setting the foundation for a strong semester begins before day 1, during your preparation in the spring and during our summer conference, and to finally arrive on campus with all of your preparation complete is a wonderful feeling.
Unlike the anxious, new guy who first arrived on a campus in January, I am calm and ready to get the semester rolling. I know the city – I know how it feels to get lost and go the wrong way on the subway or try to get into the wrong rented apartment. That’s normal at this point. Now is the time when the foundation that we set will be utilized to make even more of an impact than ever before, and I for one cannot wait!
Danny Becker joined The David Project as a Campus Coordinator in January 2015. His portfolio of schools include those in New York City, New Jersey and Nashville. Born and raised in southeast Michigan, Danny graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Comparative Cultures and Politics & International Relations. While at Michigan State, Danny was an active member in many student organizations and leadership positions during his undergraduate years, including in student government. Danny participated in our second Israel Uncovered mission to Israel in January 2014.