Junior League Innovators & Change Agents are Cited at 95TH Annual Conference of the Association of Junior Leagues International

New York, May 23, 2017 – The impact that Junior League programs and initiatives make in their communities was celebrated at the 95th Annual Conference of The Association of Junior Leagues International through the presentation of Junior League Awards in areas ranging from community impact to fundraising to leadership development. The event, which brought together women from Junior Leagues in four countries, was held in Minneapolis-St. Paul from May 18-20.

AJLI President Carol Scott, a member of the Junior League of Pasadena, said, “The variety and ingenuity of Junior Leagues in developing programs that create change in their Leagues and in their communities is inspiring. Once again, the winners of this year’s Junior League Awards have demonstrated voluntarism as a powerful change agent in addressing and the very real human needs found in our communities.”

The 2017 honorees are:

Community Impact Award

Winner: The Junior League of Orange County
Foster care has long been an important focus for the Junior League of Orange County, as it has been for many other Leagues. Starting in 2006, JLOCC supported an initiative by the Orangewood Foundation to establish a residential high school for foster kids and other at-risk youth. This spring, that school – called the Samueli Academy – will graduate its first class.

Winner: The Junior League of Tulsa
For ten years, the Junior League of Tulsa has supported the activities of Tulsa’s Resonance Center for Women, which helps nonviolent female offenders, successfully transition out of incarceration in Oklahoma. In 2016, the partnership resulted in the opening of a full-service lunch restaurant called Take 2 Café that offers six-month employment and housing for recently released women.

Fund Development Award

Winner: The Junior League of Atlanta
Looking for a fundraising tool that also raises community awareness of generational poverty in Georgia, the Junior League of Atlanta launched its Little Black Dress Initiative two years ago. By wearing the same black dress for five consecutive days, JLA members and other advocates created awareness of the effects poverty can have on a woman’s access to resources, her confidence and professional advancement opportunities. In doing so, JLA dramatically increased total funds raised to fund League projects.

Honorable Mention: The Junior League of Monmouth County
The Junior League of Monmouth County wanted to create an event that connected its fundraising with its mission and impact on its New Jersey community. The result was JLMC’s Women Making a Difference Community Volunteer Award and luncheon. In doing so, the League put a spotlight on the many contributions being made by women volunteers in Monmouth County while raising its own profile as a community leader.

Marketing & Communication Award

Winner: The Junior League of Dayton
The Junior League of Dayton addressed the epidemic of childhood obesity in its Ohio community with an innovative series of public service announcements broadcast over local PBS channels. First-year TV viewership is estimated at 750,000, with even more coming from in-school showings at Dayton area schools that serve more than 400,000 students.

Honorable Mention: The Junior League of Indianapolis
The Junior League of Indianapolis developed an innovative way of demonstrating the power of voluntarism in its community by working with community partners like the Indianapolis Library, March of Dimes and Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital to combine a series of community service projects into a 94-hour continuous event called ACT…Around the Community, Around the Clock.

Vision Award

Winner: The Junior League of Birmingham
Looking to focus attention on tough issues in its Alabama community, the Junior League of Birmingham brought diverse groups of community change agents together through its Community Roundtable program. The goal of the program is to address topics like teen suicide, domestic violence, heroin use and human trafficking that were not otherwise being addressed publicly.

Honorable Mention: The Junior League of Battle Creek
Concerned about its community profile, the Junior League of Battle Creek got aggressive in using social and traditional media in telling its story. Other branding vehicles included a successful mission-based fundraising initiative and a ramping up of its annual outreach campaign to help women in the community reach their leadership potential.

Member Recruitment & Engagement Award

Winner: The Junior League of Birmingham
Concerned about a drop in potential new members, the Junior League of Birmingham (AL) looked beyond admissions to develop a strategic approach that addressed the needs and issues of every stage of membership. The program is called Membership Matters, and it worked by reducing the admissions age to capture recent college graduates before they commit to other groups while also strengthening the bonds of existing members, including those who no longer have active status but value their League membership.

Honorable Mention: The Junior League of Gwinnett and North Fulton Counties
Because mentoring is a powerful tool for use in fostering group identification and commitment, the Junior League of Gwinnett and North Fulton Counties created the STAR Mentoring Program to build a sense of community while facilitating personal relationships among new members. At the same time, the STAR program allows new members to monitor their own progress and satisfaction with monthly and end-of-year evaluations.

Leadership Development Award

Winner: The Junior League of Washington
Because leadership training is an important driver of Junior League membership in the nation’s capital, that’s why the Junior League of Washington created the JLW Leadership Institute. Programs include Get On Board, which prepares women for successful board service, whether with JLW or in the community, and Nuts and Bolts offers training for first-time nonprofit leaders, with in-depth sessions on topics like committee budgets and setting effective meeting agendas.

Public Policy & Advocacy Award

Winner: The Junior League of Wilmington
The Junior League of Wilmington was instrumental in Delaware becoming the 21st state to pass a version of Erin’s Law, which requires age-appropriate child sexual abuse education for all K-6 students in Delaware’s public and charter schools as well as related training for teachers and other staff members. The passage was the culmination of a two-year effort that began as a JLW initiative.

About The Junior League
Founded in 1901 by New Yorker and social activism pioneer, Mary Harriman, The Junior League is an organization of transformational female leaders who set bold goals, open their circles, disrupt convention and change the conversation for the betterment of civil society. Today, there are Leagues across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

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