The Junior League of Pasadena celebrates 90 years of evolving community service Tuesday at a special birthday celebration at the Kidspace Children’s Museum, a facility which actual is the result of a 1978 Junior League pilot project.
The all-women nonprofit is committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the leadership of trained volunteers.
“We strive to have the most effective volunteer force in the community,” said JLP Operations Director Charlotte Miles.
At first, when founded in 1926 by a group of young women, the group was called the Junior Aid Society. Many early-day members were newly-married women of means who could dedicate time to volunteering within the community.
Over the years, the generations-old model of daytime volunteering and meetings has proved to be impractical in the 21st century as a large portion of women now work during the day, prompting the JLP to meet in the evenings and weekends.
The nonprofit has established popular programs over the years such as Kids in the Kitchen, Girls Rock!, Nurturing Children Through Family Support and many more that exemplify the creative and impactful efforts the JLP aim to establish.
Physical reminders of JLP’s legacy can be seen all over Pasadena as well, including Kidspace Children’s Museum and the Pasadena Senior Center among several others are products of what JPL has created in the past in order to provide and establish services for community groups that were otherwise underserved in areas of education for children and elderly care.
2011 marked the year JLP changed the way in which the organization served the community when it transitioning to a “partnership model” to provide volunteer and financial support to local nonprofits.
“JLP is a starting point for women in Pasadena who will become better equipped to contribute to the dozens of nonprofits in Pasadena,” said Miles. “It used to be stay-at-home mothers. Now we’re seeing working 25 year old women who are trying to figure out what they can do in the community that will make the biggest impact.”
Nine decades later and over 400 members strong in 2016, the JLP today is a multifaceted organization that goes beyond daytime youth volunteer activities and concentrates on the development of the women involved.
“We’ve evolved into something more than just a community service organization,” said JLP President Jennifer Allan-Goldman.
“We are helping women build upon the training they are receiving on the job and learn how to apply their skills at other organizations in nearby communities,” explained Allan-Goldman.
The organization recently performed internal research and found that there is a demand for business oriented workshops and skill development for women in the workforce that ranges from searching for a first job to switching up a career entirely.
From this, JLP established a set of curriculum termed Business Entrepreneur Leadership Skills (BELS).
“We’ve changed our focus area in the past decades to be more pertinent to what is needed in the city. BELS is an opportunity for us to train newer, younger women on how to be a leader in the community,” explained Miles.
The 90-year-old JLP chapter is a part of the Association of Junior Leagues International comprised of over 150,000 women members and 291 additional leagues in the US, UK, Canada and Mexico.
According to Miles majority of JLP members are on the sustainer level which means they have completed at least five years of active membership. The JLP is always looking for new members to help make an impact.
JLP’s birthday celebration will be held at Kidspace Children’s Museum Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Food, beverages, and entertainment will be provided for all in attendance. 2016- 2018 AJLI President and JLP member, Carol Scott, will be the keynote speaker.
For more information contact the Junior League of Pasadena at (626) 796-0244 or visit their website at www.jlpasadena.org.