September 08, 2011

Off and Running with Project Development

By Suzanne Camac & Allison MacQueen, 1st year active & 4th year active

As we embark on our League Year, we are remembering why we were drawn to Project Development. It was for the amazing opportunity to impact the League in a meaningful way. As many of you have worked on community projects that the League has supported, you also know the feeling of satisfaction and pride that all of us take away from community work.

I feel honored to have been a part of Shelter Network project last year, where we taught life skills classes to homeless families. Each session was the most rewarding part of my week. I built rapport with others from different circumstances, helped them think critically about their life situations, and provided information for job hunting, managing money, and time management. I was reminded not to judge a book by its cover, as the clients I worked with came from all different backgrounds, education levels, and former income/lifestyle. I watched shy people who couldn't meet my eye leave our sessions with a little bit more empowerment, confidence, and knowledge.

We see the effect of our work often, whether it's talking with Sister T about volunteer opportunities at Rosalie Rendu Center (a former League project) or watching the students from East Palo Alto Charter School (EPACS, a former League Project) develop into informed, charismatic, and scholarly young men and women at East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy.

A freshman (former EPACS student) wrote this in a letter to a teacher at EPAPA just a few weeks ago, their first assignment of the year....

I am impressed by physics and I'm taking AP Physics this year. I plan on getting several degrees in the field of cosmology, which will take quite a bit of time. Twelve years if all goes well. With any luck I'll be able to solve some problems in physics. Who knows, maybe I'll create the first quantum computer.

First I had to recall what cosmology was and I still haven't figured out what a quantum computer is! This is one small instance of many, where people have gained the capacity to dream beyond their current life circumstance, and the Junior League is a part of creating these dreams, one interaction at a time.

We know from past membership survey results that 81% of us joined the League to give back to our communities, and here is your chance to shape the future of our League’s community involvement. What will be the next way that Leaguers change lives?

Check out the details of our campaign here. Be a part of the process by submitting your project idea here. If you have any questions, please send an email.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -Mahatma Gandhi

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