Congratulations Community Research & Development Committee Members!


The Junior League of Phoenix Board of Directors is pleased to announce the committee members selected for the strategic board committee of Community Research & Development. Strategic board committees assist the Board of Directors in its work by developing strategy and making recommendations to the Board for their consideration and approval. The CR&D Committee is led by two Board members, Sara Mayer, Secretary, and Sarah Deutsch, Bylaws/Parliamentarian, and is comprised of the following JLP members who were selected based on their background, knowledge and experience and graciously agreed to serve:

Kris Noeker
Jennifer Holsman Tetreault
Debbie Posniack
Danielle Arsenault
Chelsea Jensen
Sarah Alexander
Amanda Heitz
Audrey Tregaskes
Tina Wesoloskie
Brianna Stultz
Michelle Moore
Kelly Kaysonepheth

The CR&D Committee will be charged with the following four research items:

(1) evaluating the current focus area of Building a Healthy Arizona, including its impact and interest in continuing it

(2) exploring a new signature program

(3) exploring a new partnership

(4) exploring the possibility of expanding the Kids in the Kitchen program

After the research, the CR&D Committee will make recommendations to the Board and ultimately to the membership. The CR&D Committee will be seeking feedback from the entire membership, conducting focus groups and tapping others to provide knowledge and expertise. We look forward to hearing from the members as the CR&D Committee embarks on the community research journey.


Maisha Christian Hagan to speak at September GMM

Junior League of Phoenix members will be in for a treat as they explore influence at the September General Membership Meeting.
September GMM Topic:
Utilizing the Five Bases of Power to Influence Effective Action
Leaders often rise or fall based on their ability to influence others towards effective action. A notable study conducted by social psychologists John R. P. French and Bertram Raven divided power and influence into five separate and distinct forms – coercive, reward, legitimate, referent, and expert. Marketing Director Maisha Christian Hagan wants to help you advance within your personal and professional life by teaching you when and how to utilize the Five Bases of Power. This presentation is all about influence – how to get it, how to respond to it, and how to leverage it in order to emerge as a leader and get things done.
About Maisha Christian Hagan
Maisha Christian Hagan.pngAs the marketing director responsible for internal and external marketing efforts at Jokake Construction, Maisha Christian Hagan occupies the space where strategic and creative business solutions intersect. She has a passion for people, a mind for business and a gift to teach. Topics of focus include strategic planning, S.M.A.R.T. goal development, DISC profile, corporate culture, brainstorming and communication, influence and conflict resolution. Her volunteer work includes hosting and organizing the annual Labor of Love Community Baby Shower; providing interview and life skills training for homeless participants in program with Family Promise; and chairing the mentor program for SMPS Arizona chapter.


First Person: Message from the President

“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in”.

~Author Unknown

cathyI hope everyone is having a fun and exciting summer and getting ready for a great Junior League of Phoenix year. As I have been traveling this summer, I have tried to stay connected by checking my Facebook page and have seen many posts regarding the political candidates up for election this November. (Don’t worry, I am not about to share my personal opinions on any candidate!) The buzz made me think about the importance of voting not just in the Presidential election every four years but also in all elections for state and local candidates. The outcome of state and local elections affects our daily lives and probably has more impact on us personally than the outcome of the Presidential election. I encourage each JLP member to ensure they are registered to vote to make their voice heard on what is important in our community, across Arizona and in our Nation.

The quote above may be as eye-opening for you as it was for me. As Junior Leaguers we exercise our vote every day by volunteering. We decide what kind of community we want to live in as we volunteer to make lives better. For example, we help kids and parents understand the importance of nutrition and exercise with our Kids in the Kitchen Program. We help educate those who live in areas without easy access to high-quality food about nutrition and healthy eating as well as ways to prepare the fruits and vegetables purchased at the Fresh Express Mobile Market. We help foster problem solving, critical thinking, and exploration skills that are critical to future academic success while making learning science fun with our ROCKETS program. We provide cooking and nutrition education to low income families through the Phoenix Day Health Links program. When we volunteer for these important programs, we vote for successful, strong, community members!

We will have another opportunity to decide the kind of community we want to live in later this year as our Community Research and Development (CR&D) group, one of our Board of Directors strategic subcommittees, gets to work researching what programs we will be voting on at our March GMM. We have 2 programs that will be sun-setting at the end of our administrative year and the CR&D group is working hard to identify options from which our members can select.  I hope everyone has had a fun and relaxing summer and is ready for a fantastic year!

With respect and gratitude,
Cathy Comer
2015-17 Junior League of Phoenix President

It’s the Junior League way: When you find a need, create the solution

jl 1.jpgEveryone agrees that juvenile crime has wide-ranging implications for young offenders as well as their families and communities. But when members of the Junior League of Collin County saw that “diversion programs” for young first-time offenders were not readily available in their area, they decided to dig deeper. What they discovered was that often the best legal outcome was probation only—with only the traditional probation services.

The question: Why not provide non-violent, first-time offenders with leadership classes to help them in school, in their families and in their communities? What if a condition of successfully deferring formal judicial proceedings was to attend these classes put on by he Junior League of Collin County?

It wasn’t an easy process, but with the help of master counselors at different regional agencies, JLCC began to outline their proposal for the course and began to seek approval of the Collin County Juvenile Probation Services. With the ability to fund the program, all the League needed was approval, a meeting space and kids.

It took two years to secure the approval, but JLCC’s Juvenile Mentoring Program (JuMP)—winner of AJLI’s 2016 Community Impact Award—began to provide a six-module program to first time non-violent offenders in McKinney, Texas in June 2013. League volunteers, with training from Collin County Juvenile Probation Services, conduct interventional training sessions with a curriculum that covers topics each month such as Media Literacy and Messaging, Boundary Setting and Building Healthy Relationships, Conflict Resolution and Life Skills training. JuMP provides the guidance, tools and resources necessary to reduce the likelihood of re-offending.

The participants, referred by the Collin County Juvenile Probation Services, are chosen based on their referral history, potential to benefit from the program, and their ability to complete the program based on family support.  Program capacity is limited at this point based on the size of the classrooms available and because the League strives to have one-to-one mentoring relationship in an uplifting environment.

In the first two years of the program, 40 kids, aged 11 to 15, have graduated from JuMP and successfully completed probation. The program has been expanded to a second location in Plano, and plans for expansion into additional locations are in discussion. The possibility of offering parent education classes is also being explored.

Anecdotal evidence of the program’s success can be found in the remarks from one participant who reported that participating in JuMP made him realize that he needed to make changes in his life, successfully complete rehab treatment and return to school, where he is now getting good grades.

Adds Maria Moffatt, President of JLCC, “You can’t change everybody, but if you can change the course of one teen’s life, this program will have worked.”

*This article was originally published in connected, an official publication of The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc., and has been reprinted with permission.

Members: JLP Yappy Hour Launches 2016/2017 Year

yappy hour

The Junior League of Phoenix Yappy Hour Group (open to all provisional, active and sustaining members that love dogs) will be launching the 2016/2017 year off with a Happy Hour in late September. The Happy Hour will be a pup-free event where we will discuss what events we would like to have over wine and a pup-related art project. Event details will be available through the Yappy Hour Facebook page.

The JLP Yappy Hour group generally meets for mimosas and milk bones and play once a month, October through May. If you are interested in being a part of the Yappy Hour group, please join our Facebook group (JLP Yappy Hour). Please direct questions to Maura Goldsberry.

JLP + The Zen Bird


Thanks to the hard work of the Member Trainings Committee, the Junior League of Phoenix is happy to announce our NEW partnership with The Zen Bird!   Members and friends will be invited to attend morningside empowerment workshops every other month starting in August hosted by the Zen Bird. These FREE workshops will take place the 2nd Saturday of each month starting in August. These workshops will be from 9-10am and will be hosted at JLP Headquarters. Members will receive credit for each workshop. The best part: Bring your coffee, dress in your comfies/yoga pants and get ready to be empowered.

The August workshop will be on Radical Self Love…registration is open now in Digital Cheetah!

What can you expect at the Radical Self Love workshop?

In a society where we, as women, are consistently giving and fueling others it is hard for us to settle into our own melody of loving ourselves – fully, deeply, radically. We focus our energies on our children, our partners, our coworkers, our lovers, our families, our friends, anywhere but ourselves. We give our power, our love and our happiness away. It is a beautiful piece of life to help others but there are days when we feel depleted and empty. Participants will develop rituals and routines that make them feel good, feel worthy, feel LOVED. Confidence will grow and cups will overflow with joy. Once one feels completely whole in their own life, they are able to help others even more.

Who will be teaching?  Meet Marian!

Marian is the founder of The Zen Bird and started her company three years ago after wanting to create a change within the conversation of confidence and self esteem for women. She saw so many women creating a life that “looked” good on the outside but didn’t FEEL good on the inside. She created the 12 topic curriculum titled The Heart and Soul Curriculum and hosts workshops around the valley. She also coaches one on one and mentors young girls. She loves yoga, coffee, crafting and traveling back to Wisconsin where she was born and raised.

static1.squarespace.comWhat is The Zen Bird?

The Zen Bird is a company creating Zen Bird Bands- yoga headbands to remind us of the power of our thoughts and an empowerment company for women. The Zen Bird hosts workshops via the Heart and Soul Curriculum, created by Marian Mellen, the founder, with topics encompassing self love, kindness, gratitude, and positive thinking. The mission of the company is to inspire and empower women to live their authentic lives through confidence and whole hearted living.

All photos courtesy The Zen Bird

Get to Know CLO!

There is a new committee on the Junior League of Phoenix roster this year, the Community Leadership and Outreach Committee (aka CLO). But what is the CLO Committee and what does it do?

The CLO Committee is part of the Training and Promoting Volunteerism team & its purpose is to provide training and promote volunteerism in a unique way. CLO’s mission is to create opportunities for JLP members to take on leadership roles in the community.

clo 1Firstly, CLO is building a JLP library of trainings to help prepare JLP members assume community leadership roles and provide training resources to those members already in a leadership role.  The larger purpose of this library is to provide JLP members with practical knowledge so they can be confident when they are ready to venture into community leadership.

clo 2Secondly, CLO has identified community leaders to mentor JLP members. CLO’s goal is to be able to implement a one-on-one mentorship program in the near future. For now, so that we can get to know community leaders and identify the needs they see in the community, CLO will be organizing small speaking events with community leaders. Attendance at these events will be limited to ensure that the members in attendance have an opportunity to actively engage with the speakers and can start building a network of potential mentors.

clo 3Lastly, CLO is engaging with organizations in the community to bring opportunities to JLP members through creating community awareness of the JLP and the abilities of JLP members. CLO will also work with JLP members to ensure the member and the organization have a positive and successful experience. There are 9,396 (2015 IRS Publication 78) charitable organizations in the Greater Phoenix Valley, many of which need the assistance of trained and passionate community leaders to help them achieve their mission. While the JLP cannot partner with and support every organization, it can support its members.

The 1978 AJLI Statement on Volunteerism states:

The Junior League asks its members to accept responsibility, to make a commitment, and to recognize the value to society of the gift of one’s skills without expectation of remuneration. In turn, it offers training, broadening experience, an opportunity for continued education and personal growth, and the organization resources to achieve maximum impact on high-priority community problems. The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc., seeks to promote a societal environment in which individual responsibility is valued and pluralism is preserved.

For community organizations interested in working with the JLP Community Leadership and Outreach Committee, please contact: or (602) 234-3388 x228.

For JLP members interested in learning more about CLO resources, events, or activities, or to express interest in being matched with a community organization, please contact the Community Leadership and Outreach Committee Chair.

Junior League of Cincinnati welcomes refugee population

jl cincinnatiIn June, communities across the globe pause to raise awareness for refugees, specifically on World Refugee Day. Fifteen years ago, the United Nations General Assembly designated this international observance day to raise awareness for the millions of refugees living around the world.

Even if you are not familiar with World Refugee Day, chances are you heard the political debate raging around this issue, both in the United States and Europe.

Politics aside, let’s take a look at what the Junior League of Cincinnati (JLC) is doing to help the refugees living in its community.

Finding a home in Greater Cincinnati
As a refugee resettlement community, Greater Cincinnati is home to an estimated 25,000 refugees and plans to welcome 500 more by 2018. Since the area is known as a welcoming city with a thriving refugee community, often refugees move there after being settled in other parts of the U.S. This is known as a “second migration,” making the actual number of refugees living in Greater Cincinnati difficult to calculate.

Looking for a new project in 2011, the JLC began extensively evaluating service gaps in the needs of women and children in Greater Cincinnati. They discovered a missing link between refugee families and organizations that provide support services; RefugeeConnect was born two years later.

Today, the organization hosts a virtual resource center that connects refugees and service providers. The site also increases community awareness of refugees, shares volunteer opportunities, and promotes upcoming advocacy events.

Bringing service providers together in a community partner network is a critical part of this project. The Refugee Empowerment Initiative (REI) hosts quarterly meetings to allow providers to share needs and innovative solutions that better serve refugees living in Cincinnati. The meetings are hosted by the Brueggeman Center for Dialogue at Xavier University and involve more than 80 organizations.

Soccer: The international language
In addition to the virtual resource center, the JLC is committed to finding unique ways to help refugees integrate into the community, learn a new culture, and share their stories with other Cincinnati residents.

On June 4, the JLC sponsored the 3rd annual World Refugee Cup soccer tournament. Fifteen teams competed in a full-day, World Cup-style elimination tournament. This tournament is designed to reach beyond the players on the field. Approximately 20 REI partners participated in a resource fair to connect with the refugee population face-to-face, and the JLC’s Community & Outreach committee hosted a family fun zone. At the end of the tournament, RefugeeConnect awarded three local refugee students scholarships to college to continue their education beyond high school.

Next up: RefugeeConnect earned a grant from FUEL Cincinnati, a nonprofit accelerator that identifies innovative young professionals and works with local nonprofits to ignite unique projects. Working with the grant, RefugeeConnect will build a volunteer “funnel” to educate engaged community members – including the JLC – about the refugee experience and place them into meaningful volunteer opportunities that include ESOL tutoring, mentoring, employment preparedness, and navigation of social services.

*This article was originally published in connected, an official publication of The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc., and has been reprinted with permission.

New JLP Toastmasters chapter…coming soon!


You asked, we answered!

Coming soon, our own chapter of Toastmasters… Just for Junior League of Phoenix members!

toastmasters_logo_newHeard of Toastmasters and not sure what it is? Toastmasters is an International non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking & leadership skills. We can all benefit from this group, experienced public speakers & those new to it.  Provisionals, Actives and Sustainers are all welcome to join.

Interested? Reach out to the Training Committee with additional questions.  More info to come shortly!



Do we still need public libraries?

librariesGood question.

Some people think that the Internet and the all-encompassing digital age it brought means that we don’t. After all, information is available to anyone, at any time, with access to a computer. So just Google it!

Standing in opposition to that simplistic argument is a movement that views the expansion of the role of public libraries as incredibly important to our society and culture. Here’s what the Aspen Institute says in a report calling for a “re-envisioning” of the public library.

“But this new world of ‘information plenty’ creates new, essential skills, such as the ability to gain value from information and produce new knowledge. Access to digital networks and digital literacy skills are essential for full participation in modern society. Economic, educational, civic and social opportunities are tied to a whole new set of knowledge and skills that barely existed a generation ago, and people without these skills or access to this information abundance are quickly left behind. Public libraries can be at the center of these changes: a trusted community resource and an essential platform for learning, creativity and innovation in the community.”

At the heart of the re-envisioning (also known as “reimagining”) movement is a goal already embraced by many Junior Leagues – making the public library a vital center of the community in ways that go well beyond the physical structure of the building, with its stacks of books and rows of reading tables.

For example, the Junior League of Sacramento has partnered with the Sacramento Public Library to use gardens to educate Sacramento-area families on healthy food choices and nutrition. Each Read & Feed Teaching and Demonstration Garden serves as a focal point for community activities that bring diverse community members together across culturally different backgrounds.

The Junior League of Summit is supporting an initiative of the Summit Public Library to bring together diverse groups of Spanish- and English-speaking families to the library. Among JLS’ contributions was sponsoring a book fair to raise funds to purchase Spanish language books for the library.

The Junior League of Birmingham (AL) partners with the Birmingham Public Library’s Family Place Library, part of a national network of children’s librarians who believe that literacy begins at birth and that libraries can help build healthy communities by nourishing healthy families. A grant from JLB was instrumental in helping to jumpstart the initiative in Birmingham, and League members are active volunteers in day-to-day operations.

Other Leagues are bringing libraries out into the community in innovative ways.

The Junior League of Sioux City and the Junior League of Bristol are participating in a national program called Little Free Library that creates “take a book, return a book” gathering places where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories.

And the Junior League of Tampa is bringing books and readers to neighborhoods in need through a refurbished school bus called MILO (for Mobile Interactive Literacy Opportunity), in partnership with the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County and the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library. In addition to matching kids with books they will want to read over and over, MILO gets parents involved in teaching reading skills through art activities and character-led reading.

*This article was originally published in connected, an official publication of The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc., and has been reprinted with permission.