#dearjlsd: The Lunch Bunch

#dearjlsd (1)To commemorate our 90th year in San Diego, JLSD provisional, active, and sustaining members, as well as former members and community partners, are writing love letters to the Junior League of San Diego.

Dear JLSD,

We have a group of five women that have been meeting for lunch once a month since 1992. Several of us were on the Fashion show committee. We all met as members of JLSD. It started when we realized four of us had October Birthdays, we made the fifth person an honorary Libra. We have shared many life experiences both high and low in the past 27 years. It is a true testimony of friendship!


The Lunch Bunch members…Tracey DeBello, Diane Archambault, Cindy Cavignac, Bobbie Quick and Gayle Hom


Photo 21 years ago at a baby shower at the University Club given by the gals for me.
Left to right Tracey DeBello, Cindy Cavignac, Bobbie Quick, Diane Archabault and Gayle Hom
Tracey DeBello, Gayle Hom and Diane Archabault

Bobbie Quick, Gayle Hom, Cindy Cavignac, Diane Archambault and Tracey DeBello




#dearjlsd: Julie Erickson

#dearjlsd (1)To commemorate our 90th year in San Diego, JLSD provisional, active, and sustaining members, as well as former members and community partners, are writing love letters to the Junior League of San Diego.

Dear JLSD,

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your organization. The past four years have been a wonderful experience. I joined the league for two main reasons, the first to get involved in the community in which I live, and the second was to meet new like-minded people and establish connections in friendship. I received everything I was hoping for and then some!

JLSD has taught me how to be a volunteer. Surrounded by so many wonderful do-gooders, I am inspired to do more, give more and be open to new and different opportunities to get involved in the community.

Through the League, I have been lucky enough to meet so many warm, genuine, kind-hearted and strong women who are eager to get to know new friends and be a friend. I can honestly say, the circle of women I surround myself with on a regular basis are members of the League.

I look forward to being a part of JLSD for many years to come!

Julie Erickson

Marketing & Sales Council: Mission Based Marketing- Member, 2018-2019






JLSD Community Partner Spotlight: Promises2Kids


Junior League of San Diego has been a longtime supporter of Promises2Kids and its Guardian Scholars program. In 2001, Promises2Kids launched its Guardian Scholars program to address the dismal educational statistics for foster youth and is proud of its over 85% college graduation rate, compared to the less than 10% nationally.  With the support of the JLSD’s gift of $70,000 in honor of its 70th Anniversary, Promises2Kids established an endowed scholarship for a former foster youth in college who embodies that of the JLSD members themselves, leadership and giving back to the community.  Takeyia, a sophomore at UCSD, is the current recipient.  Not only is she pursuing a career in the STEM field, already becoming a role model for young ladies, but she is also passionate about community service, often giving back in her church community.

Today, Promises2Kids’ Guardian Scholars begins supporting foster youth in the 9th grade, exposing them to the vast educational and career opportunities available, and annually supports 175 foster youth pursuing higher education whether it be a certificate, community college, or 4-year university education.

Promises2Kids recognizes the need to not only support foster youth in high school and then into higher education, but also the importance of providing support as they transition into life after graduation.   In August 2017, Promises2Kids launched the Women’s Leadership Network, building off the Men’s, in an effort to ensure these foster youth have a network of successful and supportive role models who help them achieve a successful and independent future – something JLSD understands all too well.  A year later, we have had 18 young women, all former foster youth, engage in the program and better prepared for life after school.

Promises2Kids is grateful for the support from the Junior League of San Diego.  Their leadership, volunteerism, and dedication to the San Diego community has been critical in our efforts to create a brighter future for foster children.

Promises2Kids was founded in 1981 and, since then, it has served over 250,000 current and former foster youth, and distributed more than $25 million for critical services and program.  From the moment they come into foster care and through to adulthood, Promises2Kids provides the hope, support, and opportunities these special individuals need to change their lives for the better… now and for years to come.  Our programs include the A.B. and Jessie Polinsky Children’s Center, Camp Connect, Foster Funds, and Guardian Scholars.  These programs assist Promises2Kids in its mission to create a brighter future for foster youth®.


Stephanie Segal Ortega, MA
Chief Operating Officer

Guardian Scholars.jpg

These are the 2018-2019 Guardian Scholars


#dearjlsd: AJ Galka-Gonyeau

#dearjlsd (1)To commemorate our 90th year in San Diego, JLSD provisional, active, and sustaining members, as well as former members and community partners, are writing love letters to the Junior League of San Diego.



I joined the league JLSD in 2009 when I moved down to San Diego for a new job opportunity. I only knew ONE person. Eventually in the first 6 months I made some friends who I worked with and some wonderful neighbors in my building. Still something was missing in my life…

Reflecting back, I yearned to be out in the community volunteering and making an impact on my days off and weekends. I wanted to find like-minded friendships that enjoyed the same. My aunt who lives up in Greenbrae suggested I find out about the local junior league as her and my mother were members many years ago. She joyfully shared that they both are still friends with many of the women they met in the league.


Soon after I searched online and nervously, RSVP’d (and went) to my first information session. After that, I was enthralled by that approachable room of women filled with such pure inspiration to serve the community! I applied the next day.


Since joining I have found how my work life (In a good way) overlaps with my JLSD life in so many amazing ways like networking and supporting each other with references or even job opportunities. Also, I have found some of the most brilliant, dedicated, beyond thoughtful friends a person could hope for!


Since my 6 years in the league I have been able to be a part of marketing (boutique), impact, membership connections, and now going on my 3rd year of training council. Each area of the league I dedicated my time to both gave me new friendships, new areas to serve the community and the league. For this I am forever grateful.


Most recently, I finally took the leap into leadership as VP-Elect last year and now I am VP of Training this year. With the honor of experiencing this role, I see how my approach within the council operations shapes each and every training council member’s personal connectedness of their league experience. Additionally, they get a chance to design and implement various comprehensive training opportunities offered to not only fellow members but also to the general public. At our council meetings and GMMs, I see they have opportunities to grow friendships and even translatable skills that they can use in their professional lives. I too, have found this in the league and I whole heartedly cannot wait for the years to come when I can look back and say I am a more impactful human to my community due to my precious time in the league.


Thank you JLSD for being that place to explore, learn, even fail sometimes, but at the end of the day do it alongside some of the best and brightest friends I know.

Gratefully Yours,
Training Development & Evaluation: Vice President, 2018-2019






#dearjlsd: Emily Green

#dearjlsd (1)To commemorate our 90th year in San Diego, JLSD provisional, active, and sustaining members, as well as former members and community partners, are writing love letters to the Junior League of San Diego.



I found out about Junior League in a funny way that is indicative to my bookworm-y nature. I was on the beach reading a book (and no, it wasn’t The Help) that noted the two main characters’ mothers had met in The Junior League. I had never heard of such an organization, so I Googled those three words that, little did I realize, would become such an important part of my life. Google took me straight to the JLSD webpage where I clicked around and instantly became intrigued by all that the organization offered. From that serendipitous afternoon, I was hooked, and so began my journey as a proud Junior Leaguer.


Between the training, leadership opportunities, service involvement, and sense of true community, Junior League has provided me with meaningful experiences that I could write about for volumes. I’ll spare the reader from that, but I will shed light onto how JLSD has provided me hope and empowerment to help me through my darkest time. In November 2016 my sister Kate, my very best friend, unexpectedly passed away due to an undetected heart condition. In an instant everything in my life reprioritized, including my responsibilities as a JLSD Board member, to be with my parents on the east coast. I was away from San Diego for two months and during that time, I heard from a Junior Leaguer at least once daily whether it be a text message, an email, a handwritten note, a bouquet of flowers, and even a pizza delivered from Brooklyn! When I returned to San Diego and JLSD, all of my responsibilities- both League-related and in my personal life- had been handled seamlessly by fellow League members. My family and I are eternally grateful for the support that we received from JLSD during the most difficult time in our lives.


Inspired by my sisters’ untimely passing and the realization that life is so short and precious, I took a risk by leaving my profession as a high school teacher to open a restaurant as a tribute to my sister – Sisters Pizza. I don’t think I would have had the confidence and I know I would not have had the leadership training to take such a risk without my experiences at JLSD and the ongoing support and empowerment from other Junior Leaguers.


JLSD has given me countless opportunities to serve the community, to receive valuable trainings, to be vulnerable, to take risks, and to become a leader, in sunshine and in rain. This is San Diego after all, and I am excited to see nothing but sunshine on the horizon.


With deepest gratitude to JLSD,

Emily Green

President Elect, 2019-2020


JLSD Gives Back: 2018 Grant Presentations, Part I

In the Fall of 2018, the Junior League of San Diego presented $20,000 to 7 of our Community Partners who helpTransition Aged Foster Youth and other issues that effect our community and mission based programs, such as homelessness and domestic violence.  Our Partners help with everything from getting a leg up, an education, or just a hot meal.

Read below for highlights of Community Council Vice-President, Brandi Cropper presenting the grants to our Community Partners as well as words from our President, Joni Flaherty about what each Community Partner means to the Junior League of San Diego and information on what the funds will be used for.  Don’t forget to check out our Facebook Page for videos of the presentations!

Monarch School, $3,000

The Monarch School has served San Diego for almost 30 years with a mission to provide education to homeless youth for grades K through 12.

This grant was used to purchase school supplies for 6 of the 13 classrooms so the students could start the school year strong!

“The women of the Junior League of San Diego and Monarch have partnered with one another for decades to support Monarch’s efforts of educating San Diego’s homeless youth. We are honored to support Monarch in its mission and value our longstanding relationship in the San Diego community.”  — Joni Flaherty, 2018-2019 JLSD President

Monarch Grant 2018
Brandi presenting the grant on the first day of school at Monarch.


San Diego Youth Services – TAY Academy, $4,000

TAY Academy serves Transition Aged Foster Youth through San Diego Youth Services and provides emergency needs to at risk youth.  Our grant is allocated for “Flex Funds” usage.  Grants and budgets do not allot for fresh food or emergency needs — things that are both so important to the youth that is served.

“TAY Academy was one of our first partners when we adopted transition-age foster youth as our community focus several years ago. We are proud to support TAY Academy and its unparalleled efforts to serve the varied needs of hundreds of current and former foster youth each year.” — Joni Flaherty, 2018-2019 JLSD President

Brandi and the LCSW at TAY Academy, Gillian.


Promises2Kids, $5,000

Promises2Kids provides over 3,000 foster youth in San Diego County with the tools, opportunities and guidance they need to overcome the difficulties of their past, and grow into healthy and successful adults.

This Grant specifically goes towards the Guardian Scholar Program in order to help two former foster youths through their college career. This program boosts graduation rates ten-fold.  It will be used to send them care packages and help with expenses!

Brandi presenting to Promises2Kids CEO (and former JLSD member) Tonya Torosian, MSW, CFRE.

“This year, we have the opportunity to fund two Guardian Scholars, a program that supports the higher education or trade school dreams of former foster youth. Promises2Kids is at the forefront of making education accessible for these students, and we are honored to support their efforts.” — Joni Flaherty, JLSD President 2018-2019