I have the privilege and honor of leading this great organization during its 98th years. To speak about the journey to get here, you must first consider that first step that was taken all those years ago. While reminiscing, think about your first step in the league. For most of you it started with a prospective member meeting or a transfer meeting. Some of you may have heard about the League your whole life from family or friends. My path was a little less conventional.
When I was younger, I was easily described as shy. As my family can attest, I was more often found with my face buried in a book than out with friends. For years, I was comfortable being my introverted self with my books and surrounded by my inner circle within my tiny hometown of less than 3,000 people. So many years later, you can imagine the shock of the news when I told my family I was joining the Junior League of San Antonio, a volunteer women’s organization that was based on social interactions with each other and the community, on a whim.
It took every ounce of courage to take that first step out of my comfort zone and every step since then. Every volunteer shift, every meeting, every leadership role that led to Board of Directors positions. Every step was taken with a bit of courage and a whole lot of self-doubt. But nonetheless, each step was taken. One bigger than the previous step.
Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady and Junior League member was quoted saying, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
As a woman these days, there is no limit to what we can achieve. It only takes the courage, strength, and confidence to make that first step. And then the next one and the one after that. My five-year-old daughter always greets the day with an enthusiastic “Let’s do this.” Her mantra has encouraged me through tough business meetings, long Junior League meetings, conversations I didn’t want to have, and above all through the past year. My hope is that her chant will have the same effect on you all.
Our mission has not changed. The Junior League of San Antonio is still an organization committed to our members and our community. So as we begin a new league year, Let’s Do This. Take that first step our of your comfort zone. Then another one to take on a new role. Then another to meet new friends and greet new opportunities, responsibly of course. Every step you take you should be willing to hold the door open for another and be willing to take the step forward. Above all, remember to just do the thing that scares you with strength, courage, and confidence.
I hope you are just excited for the new League year as I am and I cannot wait to see, hear, and experience all the great things we are going to accomplish together.
Junior League of San Antonio