It seems these days that “amazing” is such an overused word. Not everything can be dubbed, “amazing,” but as I sit and try to think of a better word to describe the women in Junior League of Memphis, no other word seems to do the trick.
You see, I am constantly amazed by the work these women do. This is my fifth year in JLM, and I am honored to serve on the Board of Directors as Communications Director. My various placements have exposed me to a wide range of duties within Junior League, and every year, I continue to meet women who see going above and beyond as their baseline responsibility. I watch in inspirational awe as these women continue to use their gifts to pay it forward. It’s a wonderful experience, I assure you.
And while JLM does indeed make a hugely positive impact on the Memphis community year after year, I think it’s important not to overlook all of the benefits of belonging to such an organization – even outside of the service aspect. One of the “pillars” of Junior League’s mission is to develop the potential of women. JLM provides numerous training opportunities throughout the year, along with “on the job” training that happens as women learn to lead in different ways in their various placements. I’ve been in league leadership for a few years now, and it has been a very rewarding time for me. I feel honored to be able to work behind the scenes to support our Provisionals, Actives and Sustainers as they do their work in the community.
The networking aspect of belonging to JLM has been very beneficial to me as well. My circle of friends and list of contacts grow exponentially each year. I have made a wealth of professional and personal connections through JLM; it’s almost like “Six Degrees of JLM” – tell me what you need to get done or whom you need to get in touch with, and I can likely help you do that through my contacts in Junior League.
And I’m not just talking about networking for your career – the fellowship and friendship I’ve gained as a member of JLM are unmatched when you consider anything else I’ve been a part of. It’s nice to know the kinds of people I’m surrounding myself with – all of us are like-minded in that we love and appreciate our city and the people in it, and we want to make a difference.
As a matter of fact, I’ll share a brief tidbit with you that demonstrates just how influential this organization has been on my life. I recently took part in a teambuilding exercise with my work department, and we had to talk about the impactful moments in our lives. Among a few other moments, I decided to add joining JLM to that list – I’ve enjoyed my time in the organization so much, it just seemed like the right thing to do. However, even I wasn’t prepared for my reaction when we had to present our list to the rest of the group. As I began to talk about why JLM has had an impact on my life, I was moved to tears. We work hard, we do great things, and I’m so happy to be a part of it.
So, yes, the work we do is … well … amazing. The word might be a little overused nowadays, but I won’t let that rob this organization and its members of it … because they truly deserve it.