“Each member is celebrated for her competency and commitment and not her degrees or vocation.” – Joy McGaugh, 2018-19 President of the Junior League of San Antonio.
In its 95-year history, the Junior League of San Antonio started the first Children’s Free Clinic in the city, created the docent programs at the San Antonio Zoo, McNay Art Museum, Witte Museum, and trained future community leaders through programs like LeaderBOARD. The organization has made remarkable advances for women in San Antonio and is recognized as the city’s premier women’s volunteer-based organization. Membership accomplishments have extended from waitressing at The Bright Shawl through the 1990s to fund the League’s mission to assisting local icon and fellow member Dela White to open Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children, where JLSA still funds two full scholarships awarded to deserving students every year.
Philanthropic partnerships have fueled Junior League of San Antonio’s growth. The women of the Junior League of San Antonio are committed to promoting voluntarism while developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. JLSA collaborates with more than 50 local nonprofits every year on projects ranging from “done-in-a-day” shifts, where members make a significant collective impact on a specific task in a matter of hours at organizations like the San Antonio Food Bank, to long-term programs such as Rummage Around Goodwill that require months of planning and organization by League volunteers.
“What sets JLSA apart from other organizations is that all members work on a level playing field. Among its membership, you will find doctors, lawyers, teachers, soldiers, mayors, dentists, business owners, stay-at-home mothers and women representing every sector of society.”
Most recently the organization, led by 2018-19 president Joy McGaugh, embarked on a 5-year Centennial Campaign in partnership with Clarity Child Guidance Center. The campaign will bridge physicians at Clarity, the League’s all-women volunteers, and experts working together to create curriculum teaching children in first through third grades about the importance of caring for and maintaining their mental health.
To deepen the impact of this initiative, JLSA will provide a grant to fund the renovation of a building on Clarity’s campus, to be renamed the Junior League of San Antonio Education Center. The Center will provide space to train the next generation of caregivers, boasting state of the art audio-visual equipment and video streaming services to help Clarity share training sessions on a nationwide scale.
Championing the fundraising goal are twenty esteemed community leaders and League members, called Trailblazers, who will pass the torch to next year’s Trailblazers in early 2020. In a January 2019 press conference, the Trailblazers each committed to a $5,000 per year fundraising goal for the next five years, with an overall goal for the campaign of $500,000 raised by the JLSA’s centennial anniversary in 2024.
JLSA looks back with deep pride, and immense respect for the trails members have blazed and can’t wait to share with the San Antonio community the paths JLSA will continue to forge for the next generation.
“At the Junior League, each member has the opportunity to achieve success, make mistakes and develop skills that can propel members into leadership roles.”