The provisional year for future Junior League of New Orleans members is one of the most memorable parts of the JLNO experience. Women joining the provisional class not only get an immersive welcome into the world of JLNO, but they also are stepping into a community of charity and fellowship amongst other charitable women. The provisional experience is key in fully understanding how important JLNO is to the city and for new members to learn how their skill sets and talents can best support the League.
The year is designed to prepare and educate incoming members on the history of JLNO through engaging chapter and small group meetings, training sessions and hands-on volunteer opportunities, all of which support the mission of JLNO.
“During the year, provisionals learn about the community projects and placements, JLNO’s mission, and they meet a lot of really amazing women,” said provisionals Co-Chair Nathalie Dillon. “Provisionals should leave their first year and enter into active membership excited about creating their place in JLNO and finding ways through placement, community partnerships and networking to help enrich our community and their role in it.”
JLNO also became a welcome support to the provisionals during a strange and challenging year. Many found their lives upturned and struggled with current events but found solace in the leaders and fellow provisionals. Those who started as strangers quickly became a support system as the challenges of the year brought many closer together.
This past year, small group meetings, special and in-person events were all put on pause, and the provisionals became a class that mainly interacted with each other through a screen. “Being unable to participate in many of the volunteer shifts in the community that we’ve had before, the provisionals may not understand how deeply the city of New Orleans relies on JLNO and that the individual members are all pillars of this special community,” shared Lindsey Hemmer.”I think that problem is going to be very quickly solved now that our city is getting back to normal. It’s going to be a really special year!”
Members of the 2020 provisional class were given the option to join the incoming fall provisional class. This was in response to their year being mainly virtual and was a welcome offer to those who struggled to fully engage during a hard year or wanted to see what a more typical provisional year was like.
Despite all the challenges, JLNO rose to the occasion and continued to train and welcome a new group of members this past spring.
“During a time where people with different views and opinions often never interact with each other, I think JLNO offers an environment for being able to have open conversations, dialogue, and it being okay to not agree with each other on everything – yet we can be respectful to one another,” said 2020 provisional Shelina Davis. “How else will we grow and learn? I’m glad that I joined and am looking forward to connecting more with my fellow JLNO-ers and supporting and uplifting our community, especially our women and girls.”