Welcome to the Junior League of the Palm Beaches!!!
On behalf of our members, it is my pleasure to welcome you to our beautiful, Palm Beach County. Our members and volunteers worldwide donate hundreds of thousands of hours of service to their communities each year. The Junior League has evolved into one of the oldest, largest and most effective women’s volunteer organizations in the world.
There are many women in our lives who continue to make a difference in our world. For all of us Junior Leaguers, Mary Harriman, the founder of the Junior League, is the one where it all intersects. At 19, Mary Harriman decided to model the behavior she wished to see in the world. She re-purposed her reality, turning her life of privilege into a platform for social reform. Mary Harriman was not just satisfied in watching from afar, or sending in a donation (mind you, there is nothing wrong with sending a donation…). She dug in, she rolled up her sleeves, and did the work, the hard work to make the Junior League a meaningful organization, that simply put, does good work.
The founding charter would be to organize young women to contribute and “aid in the solution of a great city”. Within just a few years, 22 Junior League volunteers were teaching art, calisthenics, dancing, and singing to children in need and working to improve the literacy, nutrition and health of their beneficiaries”. This simple vision lives on in a mission started in 1901 and can be seen today in almost 300 Junior Leagues across the country. The Junior League has global impact. There are Junior League Organizations in Mexico, Canada and Great Britain.
In Palm Beach County, our mandate has not wavered from the original founding principles: We seek to develop exceptionally qualified civic leaders who collaborate with community partners to identify urgent needs and address them with meaningful and relevant programs and initiatives that improve lives, but also change the way people think.
Organizational transformation has been the hallmark of the league. So too, has been the transformation of the Junior League of the Palm Beaches. The landscape of our community is vastly different than it was 77 years ago when our chapter was founded, or when Mary Harriman had a vision for her new woman’s group. A few years ago we recognized that we had to reframe our organizational analysis from projects to impact.
The main theme and outcome of this effort was to position our organization as an IMPACT DRIVEN entity. More than just semantics, this is a powerful paradigm shift I am proud to say has resonated strongly within our organization, one that serves as the thematic backbone for now, the third year, of our JLPB Palm Beach Junior League Strategic Plan. I believe this evolution of our strategy and goals will go even further in positioning the Junior League as the GO TO organization for women who are interested in developing their leadership potential in our county.
We will continue our commitment to our signature projects, such as Eye and Ear Alert; Gems; Nelle Smith. I am especially invested in supporting the development of formal mentorships across multiple sectors of our organizations. As one who came up through the ranks being mentored, I can promise you never forget what it feels like for someone to come along who cares, who shows you the way, who can, and does, make a difference.
The Junior League of Palm Beaches is a constantly evolving organization. Philosophically, in these rapidly changing times, we must remain relevant. To survive, and thrive, we must be nimble, we must adapt. We do what we can, within the scope of our mission, for the greatest number of women to have the greatest impact, both short term AND long term on their own development as well as our community. We are strong. We are vigilant. We are focused and determined. In short, we harness the passion of the women, the people, the associations, and the relationships we have collectively developed over the years, relationships that catapulted the Junior League to the pedestal of female achievement for which it has become legend.
In Your Service,
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