The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri: women building better communities.
This is the first year for JL360, and my sister Lauren is one of the participants. The response to the first year of the program for early Actives was fantastic, and I know that she loves having a chance to get a closer look at various aspects of the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri. Between hearing about her experience and talking with Courtney Karr, another participant, and Ashley Bieck, JL360 Chair, I’m getting the feeling it’s just the beginning of a fabulous year and unique program for JLKCMO members. Here are a couple of notes to share from early this fall.
Volunteer Career Mapping
One of the themes over the course of the year is to provide participants with tools they need to think about their volunteer careers not only in Junior League but also in the Kansas City community. Ashley has asked each JL360 leader and guest speaker to fill out their career map, and she emphasizes that this journey is more like a jungle gym than a ladder. Sometimes a life event or an exciting opportunity comes along and experienced Junior League Members know that a different role within the League may be a better fit for the year.
Courtney Karr, a first year active and JL360 participant, described herself as a big fan of the jungle gym analogy. “The idea that there is no set path or ‘ladder’ to climb allows members to grow both personally and professionally as they explore new placements in the League. It’s a great visual to see how a mixture of in-League and out-of-League placements benefits members as they pursue their desired volunteer career paths.” I am with Courtney on this one. I love to hear about different placements and how experienced League members balanced their community commitments!
Experiential Activity – Dinner Club!
When Dena Nash and Ashley were designing JL360, they wanted there to be well-designed modules to guide the participants through the year. For module two, Junior League Basics, the participants learned together and then could chose from a variety of experiential activities to get a taste of the League. For my sister’s small group, it was LITERALLY a taste of the League!
Most of her small group members were able to get together and have their very own dinner club using the official menu for September with the Midwest Modern theme. Lauren said, “the menu challenged all of us to step outside of our comfort zones in the kitchen, and the results were delicious.” She also adds that being in a small group with a mix of first through third year actives makes for lively conversation whenever the group is together and especially around the dinner table. Dinner club “was a good opportunity to build community in our small group as we start the year off learning about the League together. As a first year Active, it is incredibly helpful to learn about other placements around the League from the more experienced members.” Sounds like a delicious setting for swapping stories!