Out of hundreds of applicants around the globe, Bucks County’s Andrew Belder has been recognized on the International “8 under 18 list,” which spotlights teens making a difference and taking initiative in their communities.
CTeen, the Chabad Teen Network, which engages hundreds of thousands of Jewish teens in young leadership programs through its 600 chapters, in 37 countries, on six continents, has made this list through extensive understanding and care for ones trying to make a difference, like Andrew, everyday.
Belder is a senior at Council Rock High School South, and possesses an attitude and energy like no other. Talking to him you get the feeling there isn’t much that can stop him. And over the last 18 months, that’s proven true time and again.
The Bucks County teenager has been an athletic runner and swimmer since he was 8 years old and has found success in cross-country running during his high school career.
When last winter’s competitive cross country season was in limbo for his team due to COVID restrictions, he decided to run a marathon.
Belder raised money for the Travis Manion Foundation that supports veterans and the families of fallen heroes. When the day dawned it was 22 degrees outside, but Andrew ran the course out and back for a complete 26.2 km marathon.
Now he’s organizing a 5k and has recruited fellow teens to help him raise $15,000 for the foundation. He met with leaders of two local businesses who pledged $2,000 between them toward the goal.
When he realized his school was going to cancel this year’s end-of-year celebration for seniors, Belder got his friends together, called a ballroom, recruited a band he knew through his DJ work, and put together a party for 360 kids.
Andrew brought that same passion and enthusiasm to his Judaism when he joined CTeen as a ninth grader. It didn’t take long before Andrew became a leader in his chapter.