My JLW Story

Catherine Pardo’s mother was a member and president of the
Junior League of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, so Catherine spent many childhood hours doing her homework at headquarters or helping with various League tasks and activities. As she grew older, she came to realize that the women she encountered were wonderful friends who provided a much-needed support system to each other through so many of life’s ups and downs. They also were a very powerful force in the community, with many going on to lead non-profits, head businesses and hold political office. Catherine was living in Atlanta when she joined the Junior League herself in 2002. A move to the Brandywine Valley led her to transfer to the Junior League of Wilmington in 2007. “I immediately found the JLW to be very warm and welcoming, and my member advisor immediately went out of her way to try to find people living near me who might have something in common,” she recalls. “I also loved that I could become involved at a significant level right away and that there was never that sense of seniority or that you had to wait your turn to contribute significantly." Serving on the Kitchen Tour Committee, Catherine loved the uplifting sense of camaraderie and accomplishment its members developed. She then chaired the Communications Committee and, before becoming a Sustainer in 2013, spent three years on the Board of Directors as secretary, assistant treasurer and treasurer. “Serving on the Board is something I highly encourage all Junior Leaguers to try,” she advises. “You will gain a wealth of knowledge about nonprofits, develop a sense of pride in our organization from a different perspective and make friends who will be by your side as you go through the major events of your life.” Catherine also greatly appreciates the hands-on career training she received. It was her League experience that helped her procure a job at Kind to Kids when she transitioned from being a stay-at-home mom in 2012. “Whether you want to be an executive director, a fundraising professional or coordinate the day-to-day operations of a start-up nonprofit like I do,” she says, “you will find the experience you need with the League.”

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Sisters Meg Jamison and Becky Jamison became Active
members of the Junior League of Wilmington in 2010. Theyboth joined the JLW to meet new people in the area, outside their closeknit group of friends and family, and to make a difference in the community. Although attending their first Provisional meeting was nervewracking because they didn't know what to expect, within the first five minutes, a few familiar faces and some new, friendly faces helped ease their anxiety. During their first Active year, they served together on the Kitchen Tour Committee. “At first, our committee was a group of strangers," they recall. "However, we quickly turned into close friends! After spending nine months together, we learned to help one another through our ups and downs, never letting a fellow committee member fail. We grew so close that we celebrated birthdays and baby showers together.” After another year as members on committees, both Meg and Becky stepped up into League leadership roles. After spending a year on the Board of Directors as secretary, Meg is now co-chair of the Provisional Committee. After co-chairing the Provisional Committee, Becky currently is co-chair of the Recruiting Committee.

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Kari Gormley moved from Virginia to Delaware just two months before having her
son. After spending some time in Wilmington, Kari wanted the opportunity to meet new people and make friends. What prompted her to join the Junior League was that she wanted to be a part of an organization that offered training and could allow her to make a difference within the local community. “Joining the Junior League gave me the chance to meet many interesting, fun ladies, while making an impact with local nonprofits,” she says. She has been an Active member since 2010 and chaired the CAP/Visioning Committee during the 2012-13 League year.