What’s to Gain from New Member Year?

As we “spring” into the final months of the 2017-2018 League year, the Junior League of Omaha New Members reflect on their experience so far.

NM Class Photo

Back in August 2017, a group of 74 New Members came together to start their Junior League year. Since then, they have formed friendships, learned the inner workings of the Junior League and gained exposure to various organizations in the Omaha community.

In talking with several of the New Members about their New Member year, we learned that there is a lot that they have gained in such a short period of time. Here are some of the highlights:

My New Member year…

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Opened My Eyes to All the League Does

“The best part of my New Member year has definitely been learning more about what the league does and how we help the community. I had no idea that the programs we launch are then sent out to be run by other community organizations!” – Lauren Harlow Fischer

Increased My Community Involvement

“I joined the Junior League of Omaha to take the next step in my community involvement.  The best part about my New Member year is learning about all the different charities and organizations that the Junior League of Omaha impacts. It is truly amazing to know we are the difference makers within our greater community.” -Maggie McGlade-Palmer

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Helped Me Connect in a New City

“I joined Junior League as a way to meet new people since I’m not from the area. I moved here almost three years ago and was focusing on getting settled in our new home and my new job. I realized it was time to start connecting with other women who are interested in serving the community. I had been a provisional member in the Junior League of Memphis where I’m from and knew that it was a great way to be involved and make new friends!” -Lauren Harlow Fischer

“I am relatively new to Omaha, so I thought Junior League would give me the opportunity to meet new people and get connected to the community.” -Mo Marmesh

Gave Me the Opportunity to Give Back

“I joined the Junior League to give back to my community.  I had not done a lot of community service after coming back to Omaha.  It is the perfect combination of new friendships, community service, and professional development.” – Jess Winter

NM Meeting

Allowed Me to Meet Like-Minded Women

“The best part so far has been seeing the incredible potential of so many young women in Omaha. Each New Member I’ve met has something unique to offer and they’re all so willing to share their time and resources to make others’ lives better. It’s really inspiring!” – Natalie Ellis

“The reason I joined the Junior League was to make connections and friendships with other motivated and philanthropically-minded women.” – Elizabeth Kraemer

Helped Me to Discover New Interests

“In my New Member year, I have found new interests and hidden passions. The most memorable thing I have learned are all the awesome things the League does. I had no idea of the impact!” -Jess Winter

We also asked the New Members what they are most looking forward to in their first active year, this is what they had to say:

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“I’m looking forward to really plugging into a smaller group that meets consistently to work towards a goal. I hope to bring my own skills to my placement and to garner some new ones from other other women in the group.” -Natalie Ellis

“I look forward to finding my roots during my first active year and finding my passion within the League. Right now I am enjoying the education I receive on the various aspects but I am ready to jump start my ability to make a difference.” -Maggie McGlade-Palmer

“I look forward to being a part of a committee and working on a project or event. I think working towards a common goal will be a great way to get to know some more of the Junior League ladies and feel more connected to the organization’s impact on the community.” – Mo Marmesh

“I’m looking forward to getting to the point of recognizing more faces and developing closer relationships.  And figuring out my first placement where I can really make an impact!” – Elizabeth Kraemer

We are so excited to have the New Member class of 2017-2018 officially join as actives in May at our Annual meeting. Congratulations New Member and cheers to all you will accomplish in the League in the coming years!

If you are considering joining the Junior League, we are now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 New Member year. Please plan to attend one of the following a New Member information sessions to learn more!

New Member Information Sessions:

  • April 26, 2018
  • May 10, 2018

New Member information sessions will take place at Junior League of Omaha headquarters (12135 Pacific St, Omaha, Nebraska 68154) from 6:00-7:30 PM.

If you have questions, please reach out to Megan McFarlin at 402.740.1396 or join@jlomaha.org. You can also learn more about the Junior League of Omaha at www.jlomaha.org.

 

#JLOGivesThanks with Guest Blogger Megan Nelson

Networking, professional development, socializing, empowering connections. These are just a few of the takeaways from the Junior League of Omaha’s New Member Program I have experienced thus far. And I have a feeling there are so many more exciting memories, unforgettable volunteer shifts and professional development opportunities yet to come.

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I am Megan Nelson, and am excited to share my insight with you through JLO’s very own Connections Blog! Although I am only a few months in to my stent as a JLO New Member, I can already see the powerful network that makes up this amazing organization of intelligent, impressive and distinguished women of Omaha, and maybe most importantly, charitable women – there is much to be thankful for.

Just last week our November New Meeting was held at Project Harmony, a child protection center that strives to end child abuse and neglect in Nebraska. Wow, was I shocked to learn of the many resources Project Harmony provides the state, and the meaningful presence JLO brings through Project Hope Pack. As we toured the facility last week, I was nearly brought to tears to learn of the impact our efforts make on so many children and families, and at such a vulnerable time in their lives. Through this fascinating behind-the-scenes look of Project Harmony, I am inspired to devote my time and energy to making a difference for those children and families through my involvement with JLO, and I encourage you to do the same.

As we all embrace (and maybe brace for) the upcoming holiday season, let’s strive to look past the piles of gifts, endless shopping sprees, glitz and glamour (for those who know me, you know how much I love glitz!), and let’s make it a priority to lend a helping hand to those who need it most. Whether that means sponsoring a family for Christmas, donating warm clothing, or simply smiling at a stranger passing by, we all have so much to be grateful for, and so many opportunities to bring joy to someone’s day.

As the #JLOGivesThanks campaign comes to a close, I challenge each of you to search for the real reason for the season. Share why you are grateful for a loved one, hold the door open for someone and strive to improve someone’s day – you might be surprised by the joy it brings you, as well.

I am so honored to be a member of the Junior League of Omaha, and the positive impact our organization has throughout the community. We are truly making a difference in Omaha and beyond. Let’s continue to count our blessings and be inspired to give thanks, now and always! #JLOGivesThanks

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New Member Successfully Applies League Experience to Profession

Connecting with Andrea Padilla-Rosas-2

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.

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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.

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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.

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