President’s Message

Sharing Our Story: A Legacy of Leadership and Service

This is an exciting time to be part of the Junior League of Northern Virginia (JLNV) as we prepare to celebrate our Diamond Jubilee – 60 years of service in the Northern Virginia community! I am incredibly humbled and honored to have the opportunity to serve as president for the JLNV. Looking back over my League career, which spans more than 15 years in three Leagues, I continue to be amazed by the impact Junior Leagues have in their communities, and am inspired by the amazing group of women leaders I have had the chance to meet, work alongside and call my friends.

A key part of the Junior League’s mission, “developing the potential of women,” is what differentiates the Junior League from other community service or membership organizations, for it is through the “effective action and leadership of trained volunteers” that we are able to improve the community. Our members are the driving force behind the Junior League. It is through their talents, hard work and leadership efforts that the JLNV has made and continues to make a lasting impact on the community. During the past 60 years, our community programs and initiatives – from funding a pilot extended day program in the Arlington County elementary schools in the 1960s, to producing “The Glug,” an award-winning on early teenage alcoholism to launching a signature project to build the Children’s Museum of Northern Virginia (now known as the Children’s Science Center), to our current efforts to help address childhood obesity through healthy eating and active living educational programs – have served as vehicles for helping League members develop their skills as leaders and trained volunteers.

One of the many incredible things about being part of the Junior League is that it is a “learning lab” that provides members with hands-on opportunities to develop and hone their leadership by actively leading committees, planning community and fundraising programs and mentoring other women. With each volunteer event members attend, each leadership role they take on – even if it’s simply running one piece of a larger project – they are building skills that they can take with them as they serve the community, both through the League as well as in other organizations and civic leadership positions.

In the 2017-2018 League year, we will encourage League members to think about their journey within the League and the legacy of leadership and service they want to create. Whether they have been in the League a few months, several years or more than a decade, each of our members has a unique story to tell of how the League has influenced her life, what she has gained from her involvement, and the impact of JLNV community programs. This year, as we celebrate our 60th anniversary, we will focus on articulating and sharing our story – individually and as a League – more broadly as part of our efforts to:

  • Enhance our membership recruitment and engagement efforts
  • Diversify and strengthen our funding sources
  • Continue to raise the profile of our community programs and grants

I look forward to seeing all that we will accomplish this League year and “Sharing Our Story” within the League and the Northern Virginia community.

Warm regards,
Martha Hess
2017-2018 President
Junior League of Northern Virginia