2020 LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT AWARD WINNER
The Junior League of Austin
The Junior League of Austin (JLA) recognized that because of its location in Central Texas, it faced a unique challenge. Often the population it serves through its diverse volunteer work speaks only Spanish or is more comfortable speaking Spanish. However, the majority of its members are not bilingual.
In order to better serve the community in which they are based, JLA came up with a solution which would better prepare its member and better serve the community, the Spanish Immersion Program (or Sí).
The Spanish Immersion Program is a placement for JLA members that is structured in two parts:
The first part is designed to train and develop our members. Members attend weekly 90-minute Spanish classes for 15 weeks in the spring and 15 weeks in the fall that are designed to teach them Spanish from beginner to conversational.
The second part allows the same members to use their newfound skills to be of service in the community, serving the most vulnerable of the area’s population.
There are five classes a week that cater to various skill levels, allowing our members to continue growing with the program. The class size is intentionally kept small so that each woman gets to participate fully and receive individualized attention in the course. No more than ten women are enrolled in any one class section.