Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Junior League: Not Just for Ladies Who Lunch Anymore

I was going to begin this post with "Most people have heard of the Junior League..." but over the years I've realized that this is not the case.  If you have heard of it, feel free to bypass the next introductory paragraph. 

The Junior League is an organization of women committed to voluntarism.  Many would say it's similar to sorority in that it brings together like-minded women who have a passion for making a difference in the lives of others. The Junior League was founded in 1903 by a young socialite and over the years became known as an organization of ladies who lunch (meaning rich women whose only daily commitment was to having lunch with their friends rather than have a job to go to)  Over the last century, I'm proud to say that the Junior League has changed drastically.

I've been a member of the Junior League since 2003.  It's hard to believe it's been that long.  The Junior League is an excellent resource for professional women who are hoping to get more involved in their community, whether it's through direct service to a nonprofit organization or in-League (i.e. member development, public relations, fundraising). 

Throughout my tenure in the Junior League, my placements (the name for your annual community service commitment) have revolved around working with the elderly.  I've meet many amazing women through my time volunteering with our community partners, at fundraisers, and at various social events.  I would highly recommend the Junior League to anyone woman who is trying to expand her network both professionally and socially.  It's also a great way to become a nonprofit board member and forge relationships with nonprofit executives, if that is something you're interested in.

Every year the Junior League admits new women into their ranks.  While I'm sure it's too late for the 2010-2011 year, it's not too late to start thinking about it for next year.  Most leagues require you to attend an orientation, the one in DC fills up quickly so it's best to know someone who can inform you as to when it will be held.  Also, in DC due to the high demand in membership, they've had a lottery to bring in new members for the past few years.  It not all about who you know anymore, or so they say.

For more information about the Junior League as a whole, visit  To learn more about the Junior League of Washington, visit

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