Faces of ITEC: Samantha Slavin, Young Professionals Leader

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Posted on: 06/18/2024

Welcome to an exclusive interview with Samantha Slavin, one of ITEC’s most inspiring Young Professional Leaders. Today, we delve into her journey with the organization, uncovering the experiences and insights shaping her commitment to ITEC’s mission. Join us as we explore Samantha’s early experiences with ITEC, the profound impact of her YP Mission trip to Israel, and her vision for the Young Professionals group’s future involvement in the organization.

Please share a little about yourself:

Hi! I am Samantha Slavin. I am a born and raised New Yorker, left the city for college to attend Tulane University, and then made my way back to NYC. I work in book publishing at Macmillan Publishers, selling to wholesale clubs and creating custom limited-edition books. I love to read, am a certified yoga instructor, foodie, and runner. 

Can you share your earliest memories of your involvement with ITEC?

About 8 years ago, my mom went on an ITEC mission to Israel. That was my first introduction to ITEC (when it was still ITC!). I remember hearing her enthusiasm as she visited the centers and was introduced to the community. After that, I attended many of the annual galas along with some exhibitions. 

2023 Pickleball Tournament in New York City 

Can you describe your YP Mission trip to Israel and how it impacted your understanding and commitment to ITEC’s mission?

In the summer of 2022, I attended the YP Mission. While I had been involved in ITEC through my mom, seeing the centers and their impact firsthand solidified my desire to become even more involved. While hearing about the centers, listening to stories about the children, and seeing pictures were amazing, actually visiting the centers myself opened my eyes to how important ITEC is to all the children involved and their communities. 

On the mission, we visited 8 centers, along with many other Israel-touring activities. Seeing these centers in action and the way the children’s faces light up the second they step foot on the court–or into the many other programs offered by ITEC–was unlike anything I have seen before. The home that each center provides and the lessons that the children learn and take into every aspect of their lives as they grow is invaluable. 

What opportunities do you see for the Young Professionals group to impact ITEC?

The Young Professionals group has the opportunity to be the future of ITEC. Whether it is seeing the centers in action in Israel, hearing from adults who grew up in the centers, or attending local happy hours to meet other young professionals looking for more ways to get involved, this group really has the power to make a difference. 

What advice would you give to other young professionals looking to get involved in nonprofit work?

I think the most important part is finding something you are passionate about. If there is passion, it doesn’t become a chore. Find friends to get involved with and just take the first step. I love attending events with friends. Also, reaching out to people who are already involved. People love to talk about things that they love, especially if it leads to getting more people involved with them.

2024 Young Professional Happy Hour