A Message from the President
Welcome to the New York Junior League! We are mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends. We are leaders, philanthropists, and activists. We are a community of women, bound by a single goal—to improve the health and well-being of women, children, and families in New York City.
Founded in 1901 by Mary Harriman, the NYJL brought together a group of young women who gave their time, talent, and energy to ensure that New York City would be a better place to live for newly-arrived immigrants. The NYJL’s work in Manhattan’s Lower East Side settlement houses sparked a positive force for change that continues to this day.
Over the past 117 years, our organization has grown and evolved to keep pace with the changing needs of New York City’s residents. Today, more than 2,800 NYJL members keep Mary’s legacy alive by continuing our history of bold programs and performing an average of 250,000 hours of service each year, including deploying hundreds of volunteers every week.
Today, we offer expertly designed programs that target five areas of need in New York City—Adult Education and Mentoring, Children’s Education, Child Health and Welfare, City Impact, and Culture and the Arts. Our volunteer work benefits New Yorkers across Manhattan through signature initiatives, including:
- The Personal Empowerment Project offers career mentoring for high school girls by introducing mentees to a variety of careers and help them understand the education and experience required to pursue such careers.
- The Community Health Access Model Program (CHAMP) educates underserved and at-risk populations on preventative health and wellness.
- The Playground Improvement Project creates safe and beautiful play spaces for New York City residents.
- The Community Improvement Project renovates a partner organization’s facility to increase the organization’s community impact. We do this through a one-year partnership with a Manhattan-based nonprofit organization, providing funding, manpower, and management oversight for the renovation.
- The Nonprofit Boards Clearinghouse teaches people about nonprofit board governance and connects attendees to nonprofit board service opportunities in New York City.
- The Forum for Nonprofits brings New York City’s nonprofit sector together for a one-day conference that focuses on topics relevant today to small and mid-sized nonprofits.
Our love for New York City and the people who call it home are at the heart of all we do. We believe that all women, children, and families should have equal opportunity, the resources to unlock their potential, and the structures to support them. Working diligently alongside our more than 50 community partners, our members deliver impactful programs to our city’s most vulnerable populations.
I invite you to learn more about our organization by exploring our website, and I welcome you to join us in our work by attending one of our trainings, becoming a member, or becoming a community partner.
Individually we are citizens of New York City; together we are the New York Junior League.
Lauren Jenkins Chung