When I joined the League, I expected to get the opportunity to volunteer and maybe meet a few friends. I have been surprised and inspired by how much more that I have received in return. It is not an exaggeration to say that the leadership skills, personal connections, professional development, and lessons learned have been game-changing for me. When I look back at my professional career, my opportunities to serve on other nonprofits, and even my social connections, I see the League running through almost all aspects of my life. I love the League!
My varied experience, serving on almost every council has given me so many opportunities. Now, co-chairing the restoration of 210 Maple has been the opportunity of a lifetime. (Or at least my lifetime, as I hope the plans we put in place will survive for many decades to come). The scale of this restoration, fundraising, and effort to reengage our Sustainers has been historic and challenging. But, if my experience in the League has taught me anything, it is that I am up for the challenge.
Like so many of our members, the past, present and future of our League are ingrained in me. I am continually inspired by the smart, strategic-minded women that I have had the pleasure to serve with. I truly believe that our League can continue to leave our mark as a highly visible organization of trained women professionals capable of accomplishing a lasting impact. And, I am looking forward to the opportunity to help shape the League’s vision for the future, while building upon the legacy of the great leaders preceding me. #whyijlsd #dearjlsd
JLSD has meant many things to me throughout the years, and I am so surprised to find it constantly changing. In the beginning, it was a fun way to meet like-minded women and find new opportunities to volunteer, but my interests and priorities have changed so much as my JLSD career progresses. The learning opportunities I’ve had could not be found anywhere else. I got into leadership very quickly (as a 1st year active), and have held a leadership role every year since I started. Being in leadership, I think the exciting parts and learning opportunities of JLSD are always changing depending on the position you’re placed in.
When I was a treasurer for Food & Wine, I learned so much about the inner workings of both Fund Development and the League as a whole, and it fascinated me. When I worked with Provisionals, both as a mentor then as a Provisional Co-Chair, I was incredibly lucky to help shape our newest members and I absolutely loved it. I learned very important lessons about leadership among large groups and how to work with different personality types. Once I joined the Nominating Committee, I saw the League in a completely different and unexpected way, and learned so much about having to have hard conversations and how to manage expectations etc. Now, I am the Nominating Chair and also sit on the Board of Directors and Executive Management team, and it amazes me that I’m still learning so much, after 6 years.
JLSD has been such an incredible learning opportunity for me in life, both personally and professionally, and I am so thankful that I found the League. I’ve created friendships that I’ll probably always have, in fact 2 of my Bridesmaids are also in JLSD, but more than that, I think I’ve grown immensely in ways that I could not have foreseen when I first heard about this organization. I’m so grateful for the opportunities that the League has given me for personal and professional development, I love our volunteer opportunities, and the connections I’ve made have been life changing.
As I reflect on what this organization has accomplished over the last 89 years, I am amazed and humbled. As we move into our 90th, I am so honored to have played even the tiniest role in helping create what JLSD is.
St. Paul’s Senior Services offers a solution for nearly every senior at any stage in life. Since 1960, St. Paul’s Senior Services, a nonprofit, non-denominational organization, has been dedicated to serving the physical, spiritual, and social needs of San Diego seniors. With a reputation for excellent care, St. Paul’s Senior Services offers independent and assisted living, a skilled nursing community, respite care, a managed medical program, a senior day care program, child care, and an intergenerational program. Having younger generations interact with seniors is proven to have a beneficial impact on everyone involved.
At St. Paul’s Villa, the assisted living and memory care community in Bankers Hill, members of Junior League San Diego (JLSD) have volunteered to assist senior residents in a variety of arts and crafts projects, from creating Mother’s Day cards to participating in thematic activities surrounding Valentine’s Day and more. Residents look forward to seeing the many smiling faces of the JLSD members and having the opportunity to sit and chat. The interaction between JLSD members and seniors offers a meaningful connection.
Some seniors may choose to, or be unable to, venture out into the community and having regular interacting with vibrant youth who are respectful and engaging improves their social well-being, facilitating happiness in their hearts. Each generation is able to learn from one another, and it is a beautiful thing to witness. Typically, one JLSD member will interact with two or three residents at a time, providing quality moments. Seniors at St. Paul’s Villa assisted living, and memory care look forward to the time they get to spend with the members of JLSD.
St. Paul’s Senior Services
When I joined Junior League back in Denver it was to gain friends and learn more about the beloved city. Over the years, and through my transfer to San Diego I have genuinely enjoyed meeting more new people, volunteering, and fundraising. I owe the League a lot, as I have gained 2 wonderful roommates over the years.
Heather Albin and I lived together for almost 3 years and I watched her relationship with her fiancé go from their first date to their engagement. I have had the opportunity to learn so much from Heather and our families have bonded and become close over the years, celebrating holidays together like Christmas Eve and Hanukkah. More recently our families joined together again to support me and Heather at the Junior League of San Diego Gala. Not only did we have the opportunity to share this moment together, but we also honored a very close friend and past co-worker, Poppy Fitch with the Spirit of Community Award.
Nights like the Gala put into perspective why I love this League. Friends and family have always been a huge priority of mine and the night of the Gala my Junior League life and personal life came full circle!
Vice President of Fund Development, 2018-2019
Some time has passed since our Great Gatsby Affair on the green of Morgan Run Golf Course and Resort. It’s because of you that we are able to create lasting partnerships to end human trafficking, and continue training programs that help develop successful women to be change agents in our community.
Through your generous donations we are able to support the league and its mission-based community projects to support transition-age foster youth in San Diego though programs like Band of Brothers and Solutions Summit.
You are part of our success story and we thank you.
This year’s recipient of our Spirit of Community Award was Poppy Fitch Ed.D.
The Junior League of San Diego is happy to recognize Poppy Fitch. As a former foster youth, Poppy’s enthusiasm for educational equity and leadership development is informed by her life experiences. She is fiercely committed to ensuring that youth and adults are free to reach their fullest potential through the transformative power of education.
We would also like to recognize this year’s runner up, Vanessa Arteaga.
Vanessa Arteaga is a Program Manager at San Diego Youth Services (SDYS). She has 10 years of experience working with youth and families experiencing homelessness. She currently oversees programs which provide a drop in center for transitional aged youth (TAY), an art expressive program aimed at destigmatizing mental illness, short term housing for TAY, and street outreach for runaway and homeless TAY.
Vanessa has been a strong contributor to the Junior League’s Solutions Summit, Brand of Brothers and the “Runaway and Homeless Youth Walk and Rally.”
We would like to offer a sincere thank you to all of our amazing vendors, donors, and corporate sponsors who played a role in making this such a successful event.
Our cup is overflowing with gratitude for you and the change you are helping us to make in the community.