Congratulations to Masha Rivka Marcus for being a recipient of the “Shine Your Light” Tribute Concert in Orange County, California. Read about the event here.

As a senior at the Hebrew Academy, Masha appears as a typical busy older sister of a large family. Her hands are full with helping her siblings, helping to organize the countless programs that her shul offers the community, being a loyal and kind friend, and keeping up with school work.

However, that is only a small part of Masha’s world. First off, Masha is an active member of CTeens. The CTeen Network is inspired by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, whose belief in the power of youth transformed the teen years into a time of purpose and self-discovery. CTeen harnesses the incredible potential of teenagers with awesome programs that bring teens together to give back to their communities and the environment.

Masha has not only participated in the International programs, but has helped to recruit other local teenagers to participate in this leadership program. She recently was in New York and gathered in the largest CT program of its kind.

Masha has the ability to provide support to all sorts of women and girls throughout her teen years. As an example of her dedication to helping others, Masha has been involved in the Teen Project. This is an organization that strives to provide teens aging out of the foster care system with all of the resources and support of an intact family. To allow the greatest opportunity for a successful transition to adulthood. This program is led by Lori Burns who wrote, Punished for a Purpose, a book about her own difficult journey through the Juvenile Dependency Program.

Where most teens are entering this time of their life with a sense of awe and opportunity, foster kids are left in a state of desperation.  Without a home to return to, they often sleep on couches, in cars or turn themselves in to the local homeless shelter.  For these kids the future is bleak.

There is something else about Masha that needs mentioning. From everyone that speaks about her, she is described as a force behind the scenes. One individual said, “she moves with grace and kindness and has not an ounce of ego behind her actions. While just wants things to run smooth and organized, she makes sure that everyone involved feels included and taken care of.” A friend of Masha said, “no one really knows how much Masha helps others, she is constantly, all day helping someone else, she just does it in such a way that she receives no credit or publicity.”

We are so honored to pay tribute to Masha Rivka Marcus as an example of someone who shines her light wherever she goes.