My name is Andrea Padilla-Rosas and I am a New Member this year to the Junior League of Omaha. I am excited to be a guest blogger for Connections. Although I have only been a member for a few weeks I can already tell that joining the League has been a great decision for me, both personally and professionally. I first heard of Junior League in early 2014 through my friend Jamie Ryder. I even volunteered with her at the Color Run, the first year the League staffed the event. I enjoyed speaking with the ladies I met that day and left with a good impression of the League.
At the first general meeting on Sept. 14, the guest speaker was Sustainer Gail Graeve. I really enjoyed her humor and her thoughts on being a member of the League. She spoke about work-life balance, family, her experience in the League, her career and the importance of women supporting women. As I sat there listening to her, I could not help but realize how satisfied I am with my experience, thus far, in the League. As the weeks go on, and I volunteer at events to fulfill my member requirements, I am reminded of how my career and participation in the League are closely aligned. I can say, without a doubt, that I am the most fulfilled I have ever felt in my professional life. I know that may sound strange coming from a New Member but it is how I feel right now.
Have you heard of AIM Careerlink? I work for AIM in the Youth Department as a College and Career Coordinator at Bryan High School. Specifically, I am the TRiO Upward Bound Coordinator at Bryan. Upward Bound is a program designed to help first-generation and/or low-income students go to college. I work with 60 students in grades nine through 12 and I love my job. We offer an after-school program, college tours, ACT test prep and help with college applications and scholarships, just to name a few of the benefits.
Despite the fact that I have a self-imposed PhD in procrastination, I am working to complete my project shifts early this year as work will only get busier as the school year continues. A few weeks ago, I volunteered at the Open Door Mission with fellow League members. The opportunity was part of the Done-in-a-Day community volunteer project offerings that the League offers to members. I had such a positive experience there that I decided to set up a volunteer shift for my high school students. This shift would help them to complete the volunteer shifts they are required to have as members of the Upward Bound program. In addition to that, I proposed an idea to my Youth team for a week-long volunteer academy as part of the summer academies we offer our students. My idea was well-received .
Being a part of the League opened up that idea and opportunity to me. It inspired me to pass on the gift of service to my students. I am looking forward to meeting more New Members and actives and learning more about the League this year.
Spring has sprung! As with each passing season we take time to reflect on the past and to put new (or revised) goals towards the future. Whether it is personal, professional, or both, we look to not only better ourselves but our community. With Omaha Gives coming up May 20th, this is no exception. We are excited to participate this year and we’re asking for your help! We have never hesitated to step up and meet our community needs – through our own projects!
Book of My Own – collect, sort and distribute new and gently used books to at-risk children ages 0-14.
Project Hope Pack – partner with local child advocacy agencies, homeless shelters, community development agencies and churches that play a role in moving children out of crisis situations. Our Packs include items to cover a 3-5 day transition period, easing trauma and providing some comfort for a child as they move to a safe, yet unfamiliar, environment.
Career Development Series – provide several seminars (per year) which are aimed in helping women, community-wide, learn leadership and management skills to reach their goals.
Done-In-A-Day – a series of concentrated projects that offer volunteers for community-based placements on a short term basis.
Because you believe in the Junior League of Omaha, you make this possible. Your gifts allow our projects to succeed and we couldn’t do it without you. Please consider Junior League during this 24 hour fundraising event, schedule your gift today or donate on May 20th!
The Rose Theater is home to the Omaha Theater Company. In 1948, Junior League of Omaha members alongside Emmy Gifford were inspired to start a theater for young audiences in Omaha and one year later, the Omaha Junior Theater was born. The League was instrumental in growing the Omaha Junior Theater, one of the oldest organizations of its kind in the United States. In 1970, the Junior League of Omaha(JLO) pledged money for a Cultural Education Series to be produced for Omaha schools in cooperation with the Omaha Junior Theater, the Omaha Ballet Association and the Nebraska Arts Council. During the 1980s, JLO approved community activities and a new project for the theater company. Over the years, the Omaha Junior Theater grew – it was renamed Emmy Gifford Children’s Theater in 1977 and again renamed The Rose Blumkin Performing Arts Center in 1993. The Omaha Theater Company first staged a production at The Rose Theater in 1995. In 1998, in honor of the 80th Anniversary of the JLO, the League approved a grant to its past project – the Omaha Theater for Young People – now the Rose. This grant was a joint effort with the Junior League of Omaha Foundation, which contributed toward the grant. The relationship between JLO and The Rose continues. Many League members, past and present, have served on The Rose Theater’s Guild. Continue reading “Done-In-A-Day at the Rose Theater”
Seeds We’ve Sown: Done-In-A-Day is Back
Done-In-A-Day is a former Junior League of Omaha project that is being reborn this year. The goal of this new project is to get in touch with organizations that JLO has worked with in its storied history, exposing members to these organizations, and getting project shifts done in a day! This mission is two-fold. First, it reconnects JLO with partners from the League’s past to celebrate the League’s contributions to the Omaha community as JLO approaches its 100th Anniversary in 2019. Second, it allows members to interact and learn more about these great organizations while performing community service. This year, Done-In-A-Day has scheduled project shifts with the Visiting Nurses Association, Rainbow House with Children’s Hospital, the Omaha Symphony, Fontenelle Forest, the Rose Theater, and more.
Done-In-A-Day Chair Joey Gaines is the member responsible for bringing this great project back to the League. As a first year active, I am blown away by Joey’s dedication to JLO, initiative to rejuvenate a past project, and sheer excitement about the whole thing. I decided the best way to introduce this great project was to speak to the project’s fearless leader herself. Continue reading “Connecting the Community – Done-In-A-Day is Back”
Junior League Lends a Helping Hand to the Omaha Symphony
Each fall, the Omaha Symphony presents its family-favorite Symphony Spooktacular concert with a host of appearances from area artists and organizations for a symphonic celebration of everything Halloween! This past October, the Omaha Symphony was joined by volunteers from the Junior League, who dedicated their time and talent to assist the symphony in the mounting of what has quickly become an Omaha Symphony Halloween tradition with area families. Throughout the day, volunteers from the Junior League donated their time to “spookify” the Holland Performing Arts Center lobbies, guide children in Halloween and music-themed lobby activities, and most importantly, distribute trick-or-treat treasures donated by Oriental Trading Company. The Omaha Symphony would like to extend a gracious, well-deserved “Thank You” to the Junior League and all of the volunteers who helped to make Symphony Spooktacular a truly fun and memorable concert!