President’s Message

A Message from the President of the Junior League of Greater Orlando:

Friends and Community Members, 

We are thrilled to welcome you to the Junior League of Greater Orlando (JLGO). If you’re new to our organization, this is a great place to get an introduction. And if we’ve worked together before, I’m excited to share the latest on our members, our focus area, and our impact in the community. As we respond to COVID-19, more than ever before, our region needs trained volunteers to maintain important programs serving youth and women in need. Our League is well-equipped to fulfill this need. 

Our League chapter has served the Greater Orlando area for 73 years. Throughout the years, we’ve held true to our mission but refreshed our focus area to meet the changing needs of our membership and our community. We have operated through many high points in the region’s history, such as the founding of UCF in 1968, the opening day of Walt Disney World in 1971, and the formation of the Orlando City Soccer Club in 2010. We have also weathered turbulent times, like 2016’s Pulse Massacre. We take responsibility for helping to make Orlando a more equitable and inclusive place to live. 

Our approximately 500 members are highly accomplished women, representing all the major industries in Central Florida: hospitality, tourism, healthcare, tech, education, real estate, and more. We are leaders in the community and in our professional fields. We sit on the boards of businesses and non-profit organizations and volunteer outside of the League. Many members cite the League as their training ground for developing the leadership skills they will use for the rest of their lives. As we face the global pandemic together here in Orlando, our members are a strength to be harnessed as we chart the path forward.

Our mission statement explains not only what we do, but why we do it: The JLGO is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Our impact can be measured through the 1,500+ hours of volunteer work we log on average annually, as well as the 300+ hours of training we have planned for members in the year ahead. We hope that the JLGO will be one of the most meaningful sources of professional development for our members as well as one of the most powerful sources of trained volunteer talent for our partners. Whether we’re starting our careers, advancing in our professional lives, or keeping our skills sharp during parenthood and life transitions, JLGO members find support from the League. 

Our community platform focuses on issues related to health, hunger, and poverty in Greater Orlando, with a focus on youth and women. We effect change through four types of service:

  1. Direct service programs we develop and manage: HIP Kids and MAGIC
  2. Community partnerships with other community organizations that align with our mission and focus area
  3. Advocacy at the local and state levels 
  4. Major initiatives to tackle critical issues. Today’s are diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as human trafficking.

We enter into formal, often multi-year partnerships so that we can have structured, long-term impact over time. We reevaluate these partnerships each year to ensure we’re staying on top of the biggest needs in our area and can mobilize quickly to meet them. One example of this is our relatively new focus on human trafficking. Central Florida is #3 in the country for reported trafficking cases, and we feel called to raise awareness for this issue and to support survivors. 

Whether mentoring incarcerated young women biweekly at the Orange County Juvenile Correction Center as part of our own MAGIC program or planning patient parties for children at Arnold Palmer Hospital, the League members are volunteering in the community each week (even if it’s on Zoom!), making a difference. When we’re not volunteering in support of the causes we champion, we’re growing as leaders through robust training opportunities. Through our local League chapter as well as the Association of Junior Leagues International, we focus on developing the potential of women through civic leadership training that can be used to succeed in the League and to succeed in work and life. 

Whether a prospective partner, member, or friend, we hope you can experience the JLGO in action!

Thank you,

Alex Rister
JLGO President