When it comes to being a Mitzvah Hero, helping others is a chai-light of Sarah Krulik’s philanthropic endeavors.
Indeed, 18 is a key component in the life of the senior at the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy. Turning 18 this month, she is one of only 18 young local leaders selected for the YOUTHadelphia program, a distinguished committee of teens empowered to give out $100,000 in public funds to worthy local groups.
The group, which serves as the Youth Advisory Committee of the Philadelphia Foundation's Fund for Children, is committed to “give Philadelphia teens opportunities to build youth leadership through philanthropy and civic engagement.”
Krulik seems a natural for the program. “I’m a community service guru,” says the Philadelphian. “I joke that YOUTHadelphia is my Thursday night family.”
At Barrack, she helps drive the Jewish Leadership Initiative, which she describes “as high school Hillel. Hillel for me means building a Jewish community that is accessible to all students. JLI is doing that within Barrack,” allowing her “to be the best role model I can be for the younger students.”
She is certainly making the grade, too, with the Jewish Relief Agency, which she has been taking part in since age 11. (Mom Amy is its executive director.)
One Sunday a month, she helps out as a Junior Yellow Capper at the JRA warehouse, where boxes of food are readied for distribution to needy families.
Her role is rooted in family and enriched at Barrack. “For as long as I can remember, my family has been doing community service,” Sarah says, referring to her parents, Amy and Jeffrey Krulik, as well as to her sister, Emily, 16.
“Helping the community has made me a better person,” she says. “I have a fire in me that keeps me motivated to do more.”
She hopes to pursue a career in public service after finishing her studies at the University of Rochester, where she is headed in the fall.
She already earns an A in optimism: “I look for the best in other people because I think, when it comes down to it, people will do the right thing.”