2016: Jessica Eldridge

2016 Rising Star Award Winner

Jessica Eldridge

The Junior League of Phoenix 

Jessica Eldridge took a great program and made it even better.

Of course, that’s not all Jessica has done as a young member of the Junior League of Phoenix. She is the chair of the League’s Community Impact committee. She also is a Provisional Mentor. And a graduate of the League’s Leadership Development Institute.

But Jessica’s wow factor really kicks in with her work in expanding the Junior League of Phoenix’s Kids in the Kitchen program. Not only is Kids in the Kitchen one of League’s signature programs, it also is its largest community program. Under Jessica’s leadership and guidance, Kids in the Kitchen has flourished. She volunteered to co-chair the program in her first year as an Active and then stepped up as chair the following year.

Jessica established and maintained important community partnerships, including an exciting two-year partnership commitment from the Boys and Girls Club of Arizona. She also led the development of a new “KITK University” nutrition education curriculum.

And the results are now in…under her leadership, the League’s Kids in the Kitchen program has grown from two events serving 250 kids in 2012-13 to 12 events serving more than 1,200 kids in 2014-15.

But Jessica didn’t do it alone. She says… “Luckily, I had 11 committee members and an eager set of Provisionals who shared my passion to make a difference. I built a structure for my team, delegating based on their interests and skills. This shared power created stronger buy-in among the team…at committee meetings, we had discussions and share-outs, instead of a very one-sided report structure. We even empowered volunteers to lead discussions and activities during shifts instead of passively assisting.”