“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” ~Ryunosuke Satoro
This quote symbolizes the mentality of why our charter members formed the Junior League of Panama City 70 years ago. With the goal of fostering interest in economic, educational, cultural and civic conditions of the community, 20 women came together to promote volunteer service to the community and working in harmony with the policies of the ALJI (formerly known as the Association of Junior Leagues). These goals are hard to achieve as an individual, especially as a woman in 1951. The answer was to organize together, as a group. The drops formed an ocean.
From the beginning, the Junior League of Panama City has rallied as a group for various causes, recognizing the strength in numbers. Our organization has raised nearly $4 million for community impact programs through our key fundraisers including Holly Fair, Spring Classic and our 5K race program. Since 2015, we have distributed more than a half a million diapers to our community through our nationally recognized Diaper Bank and provided more than $200,000 in classroom grants since 2008 through our Excellence in Education program. Our Child Service Center program provides clothing and hygiene items to hundreds of Bay County students each year and our active membership completed more than 1,900 volunteer hours for these community impact programs (even in a pandemic)! We have accomplished all of this by working as an ocean.
On March 2, 2012, the Junior League of Panama City was accepted as the 293rd Junior League in the Association of Junior Leagues International, an organization of transformational female leaders who set bold goals, open their circles, disrupt convention and change the conversation for the betterment of civil society. Today, there are Leagues across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. In the global sense, our organization had been but a drop, but no longer! Imagine the possibilities of this vast ocean! This was the vision of our 20 founding members, and 70 years later, that dream is now a reality.
AJLI’s Mission, Vision & Values
The Association of Junior Leagues International is an organization of women whose mission is to advance women’s leadership for meaningful community impact through volunteer action, collaboration, and training.
The Junior League: Women Around the World as Catalysts for Lasting Community Change.
Diversity: We believe that creating and sustaining a diverse Membership is critical to our Mission. Living the value of diversity means we are committed to centering equity, inclusion, and belonging in our individual, organizational, and community relationships.
Collaboration: We believe lasting societal change is achieved through both collaboration and meaningful disagreement. Living the value of collaboration inspires us to accomplish more together.
Community: We believe a strong sense of community is essential to human well-being. Living the value of community provides a foundation of inclusion, which allows us to make a greater impact on the world around us.
Empowerment: We believe that the empowerment of women is a necessary requirement to create positive, lasting societal change. Living the value of empowerment fosters trust and confidence in each other.
Leadership: We believe in the unique power of women’s leadership abilities to transform communities for the better. Living the value of leadership allows us to make a collective difference.
Respect: We believe respect is a fundamental human right. Living the value of respect instills in us an unconditional positive regard for others.
Service: We believe it is through service that we build core relationships with others. Service is the lens through which we decide how we will invest our time and resources. Living the value of service empowers us as catalysts for lasting community change.
The purpose of The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. is to add value to its member Leagues in their fulfillment of The Junior League Mission.
THE POWER OF ASSOCIATION
Founded in 1901 by New Yorker and social activism pioneer Mary Harriman, the Junior Leagues are charitable nonprofit organizations of women, developed as civic leaders, making a demonstrable impact on their communities. In 1921 the Leagues joined forces as an association, which is today known as The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc., in order to bolster their power and amplify their voice through shared knowledge and common causes.
True to their mission, today’s League members work at the forefront of social reform, tackling the toughest and most critical issues of the day—including childhood nutrition and obesity, human trafficking, foster care, juvenile justice, teen self-esteem, cybercrimes, literacy and the environment, among others—for the purpose of enhancing the social, cultural and political fabric of civil society.
As a result of this work, The Junior League—and the more than 125,000 women in over 295 communities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico who comprise its ranks—has amassed an archive of tangible results and a reputation as thoughtful and influential change agents dedicated to the public good.
Today AJLI is a charitable nonprofit organization that provides continuity and support, guidance, and leadership development opportunities to its member Leagues. Through regional, national and international meetings, comprehensive resources, customized consultations, and League and member benefits, it supports its member Leagues in the fulfillment of The Junior League’s Mission. AJLI is governed by a Board of Directors, which is accountable to the Leagues and comprised of women who are members of the Junior Leagues in their communities. The Association’s New York City-based staff, under the leadership of the Executive Director, provides services to Leagues that support the established goals.