Katherine Steffan is currently a Provisional Member in the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO). She has kindly taken her time to share her experiences with COVID, keeping sane and why she is sticking with the new member process during a difficult time.
Katherine was working in hospitality when the pandemic hit earlier in the year. When her job transitioned from the office to remote work, she at first enjoyed the perks: no commute, wearing yoga pants exclusively and doing laundry on her coffee break. She also filled her newly found free time with activities that have become universally popular, like house projects and puzzles.
But when she was furloughed in May, she began to look for new opportunities for both income and community engagement. She found exactly what she was looking for through her new JLNO community connections. A post to the JLNO Members-Only Facebook group led to new child care opportunities. Katherine is now helping two New Orleans families as they transition to virtual school, one of them being a JLNO family as well. Katherine describes the response she received from her post: “The Junior League response from the Facebook group was amazing. I found new opportunities in a matter of one day!”
When asked if she found the new approach to the Provisional year difficult, she said she does not notice anything different, and described the process as feeling “normal-ish.” She is also taking advantage of the unique opportunity to meet the Provisional requirements and focus more attention on the new member process than she might have been able to while working a more traditional full-time job.
Katherine is very enthusiastic about her new organization, and she is committed to completing her Provisional year and becoming an Active JLNO member despite the challenging times. She is impressed with and grateful for the responsiveness of the membership when she asked for assistance in finding her new opportunities. She is also looking forward to serving the community through JLNO membership. “I know there is definitely a need during COVID and that the Junior League can help. And I can relate to families who may have lost income due to COVID.”
Katherine’s story is one to which we can all relate. She has taken a challenge and turned it into an opportunity, with a little help from her fellow Junior Leaguers. This pandemic has highlighted the value of the support and consideration enjoyed by JLNO members, and that we are here to help our community as well as our organization. We are lucky to have Katherine and her Provisional class colleagues as the future of the Junior League of New Orleans, and hopefully we can all get back to a more normal-ish time very soon. •