Today we’d like to introduce you to Pamela Lynch.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Pamela. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My journey of community service in Boston really solidified as a member of Junior League of Boston (JL Boston). I began volunteering in 2010 as a one-on-one mentor in the JL Boston Amigas program at Germaine Lawrence campus, Youth Villages. I soon began serving as a committee member and Chair, then on the Community Council and in 2014 I was honored to take on the role of Director of Community Service. Through each of my community service projects, I became closer to my fellow volunteers, and sought to encourage impactful opportunities for other members serving in our community. Together, we met with City Councilors and collaborated with other nonprofits.
Each year serving the greater Boston community as a member of JL Boston has been remarkable: I have enjoyed meeting new people, engaging in new community service projects, and establishing new opportunities for growth. We continually strive to evolve with the needs of the community by identifying and filling gaps in programming and resources for women and girls. We focus on the wellness of girls, with an eye toward developing tomorrow’s healthy confident women leaders. We offer various group mentoring programs for girls, which provide skill-building opportunities and positive encouragement in areas of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), Arts, Leadership (Leader Within), and through our League built program Learning Circles, where we work to instill a lifelong passion for learning in girls ages 9-13.
My service with JL Boston has also spanned beyond the greater Boston area. Last year, I traveled with a group of members on an international service trip to Morocco. We volunteered in one of three placements: assisting in an orphanage with disabled youth, teaching English to adults, and doing arts and crafts projects with kids. The cultural immersion was eye-opening. We also treasured our experiences of riding camels in the Sahara Dessert and learning about the traditions and history of the country. Overall, being a leader in Junior League of Boston (JL Boston) has provided me with invaluable opportunities for experiential leadership and has allowed me to create lasting friendships. Recently, I had the honor and privilege to represent JL Boston at the Association of Junior Leagues International Annual Conference where I served as our League’s voting delegate in the business meeting. Sitting proudly in order of League creation, JL Boston, founded in 1906, is the second oldest Junior League of 292 Leagues across 4 countries. Across all Junior Leagues, we are over 150,000 catalysts for lasting community change.
Since July 1, 2016, I have served as the JL Boston President. JL Boston is led and managed by volunteers. Leadership roles and Board of Directors roles have terms to support training as many women as possible. The Junior League of Boston is the premier women training organization, giving women experiential leadership opportunities within the organization and in the community.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
We know that volunteers’ time is precious and members desire to see strong outcomes from our projects in the community. When getting together for a planning meeting or Member Appreciation Event, we make a point to provide micro volunteering opportunities for people to make a difference.
Below are a few examples:
-231 toiletries for Rosie’s Place were collected during our Welcome Back Member Appreciation Event.
-65 handwritten holiday cards from our members were sent to the girls at Youth Villages, Germaine Lawrence campus.
Our League membership has changed over the decades; we are now a strong force of full-time working volunteers. As part of the Leadership team, I continue to strive to honor and recognize every volunteer in a way meaningful to the individual. Continuously providing value to members is a challenge that membership organizations face. We have implemented strategies for engagement.
Although there are always challenges in addressing community needs, and with our issue based advocacy work, our talented members work through challenges. Professions of our members include doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, designers and everything in between. Our projects and impact in the community are made possible by the collective efforts of our membership and our partners and donors. Every member enables us to fulfill our mission and vision. Throughout the past 110 years, we have touched the lives of over 1 million families.
Junior League of Boston – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The Junior League of Boston is an inclusive community of women leaders building and pursuing transformative experiences. We advocate for our communities by identifying and implementing impactful solutions.
We have a Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion: The Junior League of Boston welcomes all women who value our Mission. We are committed to inclusive environments of diverse individuals, organizations, and communities. This past year, we created a Road Map to be a more inclusive community and diversify our membership, and we will track this through Key Performance Indicators.
The Junior League of Boston is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.
We are nearly 1000 members.
JL Boston is a nonprofit. Many decades ago the women had the forethought to locate their Headquarters at 117 Newbury Street in Boston. We recently renovated the brownstone and we rent our space to other nonprofits and organizations. The Board room and Training room include wireless internet and presentation screen capability.
We offer proven girl mentoring programs from East Boston, Back Bay to Hyde Park and Dorchester:
• When girls were asked to rate their likelihood of recommending the Leader Within program to a friend or family member on a scale of 10 (10 being the best), the girls rated the program a 9.9 on average.
• When asked about what they got out of the program 86% of students said they made new friends, gained confidence, discovered new foods, learned to cook healthy meals or learned from mentors.
• When asked if they would now eat more vegetables or fruit at meals 71% now say they would.
• The percentage of girls who were able to fill in the correct proportions of MyPlate in Kids in the Kitchen program increased from 22% to 30% by the end of the program.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My proudest moments are seeing ideas come to life as real programs, impacting girls’ lives.
This year, I loved seeing the girls’ faces in the STEM program light up with each new question or hands-on activity like building robots. I cannot thank everyone enough who has been pivotal in the success of this new program.
As an engineer, this is near and dear to my heart.
- To Join: New members pay dues and fees totaling $380 ($260 in dues in addition to a General Membership Meeting fee of $30 and a new member course fee of $90). Dues: $290 annually after the new member year.
- To Rent our space: Prices for space rental vary from $175 – $195 / hour depending on room, and the minimum number of hours varies.
- Address: 117 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116
- Website: https://www.jlboston.org/
- Phone: 617.536.9640
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/juniorleagueofboston
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BostonJL/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/bostonjl
- Other: Youtube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZCKZTnIABo&feature=share
Clark Linehan, Linehan Photography
Roger Pelissier (portrait by Boston Common)