Category Archives: Guest Post


JLCUimpacts2Cassandra, a graduating senior in Political Science and History, wanted to learn more about the nonprofit sector and project management through this program yet gained so much more: “I feel like I was able to connect more with the larger CU community through our work with JL. There are inspiring women doing incredible work in CU, and I feel fortunate to have interviewed and met many of them. Witnessing the power of women leadership was so transformative, and I can’t wait to see how this community grows as a result of the JL’s work.”

Vanessa is a sophomore majoring in Political Science and intends to further her studies in law school. “By working with the YWCA and Junior League, I was given the opportunity to see how the Champaign-Urbana community thrives beyond just the college bubble. It was an inspiring and rewarding experience to be surrounded by the members of Junior League passionately working on the same mission. I especially look forward each week in working alongside with the other interns. I learned so much from conducting interviews with topics ranging from domestic violence to motherhood, and to family nutrition. The main takeaway out of the Women-in-Leadership program that I would like to carry with me into the future is the notion that success comes when we all work collaboratively and when we all support one another.”

Sandra is a graduating senior in Animal Science with a pre-veterinary medicine concentration. Although she will soon begin her veterinary medicine journey, she continues to expand her interest in the nonprofit sector to remain grounded. “ Through the Women and Leadership and Junior League partnership, I have been able to see a glimpse of the impact non-profit organizations can make in the community and the importance of taking action. I have also witnessed the results that a group of inspired and driven women can do by interviewing our candidates and by working with the JL”.

Guest Post: JLCU New Member Poverty Simulation

JLCU’s 2016-2017 provisional class.

JLCU’s provisional (new member) class had a different meeting than usual in January. With the help of member volunteers, they participated in a poverty simulation from the United Way. Erin Tarr, one of our provisional members, shares her experience in the following guest blog post.  Continue reading Guest Post: JLCU New Member Poverty Simulation

Holiday Message from JLCU President, Jen Romine


Happy Holidays! It is hard to believe that December is already here. The beginning of the Junior League year has flown by! I am so thankful for leading such a wonderful organization of women who make a huge impact in our community. Every day I am in awe of what our members do both within our organization and outside of Junior League to make an impact in this community.

Looking back, in the past 6 months, we have moved office space, hosted two successful fundraisers, provided CAF grants to seven community organizations and continued to make an impact through League Locker, Kids in the Kitchen, and Bright Starts.

In 2017, I look forward to welcoming AJLI trainer Vicki Clark to Champaign-Urbana in February, an upgrade in our website, the activation of our large new member class and the continued impact of our community projects!

Best wishes for a happy holiday season and a happy 2017!

Jen Romine, 2016-2017 JLCU President

Guest Post: 10 Things I Learned at the Fall Leadership Conference


President-Elect Jenette Jurczyk, President Jennifer Romine, and Executive Vice President (EVP) Loni Trimble attend the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) Fall Leadership Conference in Chicago.

Jenette Jurczyk, President-Elect

Attending the Fall Leadership Conference in Chicago was such a rewarding experience, getting to bond with our President and EVP, as well as meet leaders from Leagues across Illinois and the Midwest.  I soaked in as much information as I could to positively impact our League.   Thank you for this opportunity to share some of them with you!

It starts with our members…
Developing the potential of women is one of the pillars that Junior League is founded on.  In everything we do, we need to be nurturing and encouraging our members to grow and learn.  These are the women who will go on to found and lead non-profits and businesses that will effect change.

Everything we do is leadership training…
From updating the website, to organizing events, to working one-on-one with children in our community, everything we do allows members to challenge themselves with experiential, hands-on learning in a supported environment.

Leadership is about one life influencing another….
Many leagues have launched successful member mentorship programs, to keep their members engaged and learning.  In addition to our member advisors, JLCU launched a mentor program this year for our first year actives.  I was excited to hear that other leagues had had success with member retention with use of these programs and that our leadership sees the value in mentors.

The only thing constant is change…
Junior League has to be a fluid and flexible organization.  The needs of our members change; the needs of our community change; even our leadership changes every year.  We need to continually educate and train new members, transfer knowledge to new leadership, and keep our eyes open to the future.

Strategic planning is key….
The best way to create the future is to plan it.  We should constantly be reviewing our vision and defining our goals to make sure that our actions are aligned with our desired impact.

Junior League is more diverse than we think…
It was exciting to see that the leadership from Leagues across the country and beyond were passionate woman of all ages and backgrounds.  We need to keep that in mind as we recruit, train and empower our members to stay engaged in our community.

The power of numbers…
AJLI is in the process of collecting data from all 291 Leagues to be able to speak on a broader, global scale when sharing the impact of what League can do.  We are excited to see them roll out this information, especially since JLCU was featured in the demonstration of this research model.  We will also be able to use this information when explaining the value of supporting our League locally.

Control the conversation…
When your key message is clear, you control the conversation.  The key message is a springboard for discussion.  When educating potential members, donors and community partners about what we do in the community, strong and simple communication is key.

Be aware of opportunities to promote, recruit, advocate…
You never know if the young lady who is helping you plan your social event could be a great potential new member.  It’s possible that the person buying tickets to your fundraiser represents a business that could be a great new donor.  Always present your League in the best light possible and always be willing to start the conversation.

Junior League is for life…
Junior League is the only organization that offers lifelong membership.  It is what you need it to be, when you need it.  JLCU can only continue to effect change in our community with the support of our sustaining members.  The value of Junior League membership doesn’t end after your active years.