Joining a new group and meeting people for the first time can be a daunting task. Combine that with moving to a new city, and the nerve factor increases tenfold. This year’s provisional class of 120 women boasts 60 percent membership from outside the New Orleans area, representing 17 different states. But luckily for NOLA newbies, JLNO’s provisional program provides an excellent introduction to both The League and the City of New Orleans.

A common refrain from many members is that the more you get involved, the more you get out of your first year. While that year is dedicated to learning about The League and training, there also is time for fun. Front Porch Fridays are a great resource for meeting people, and the Esprit Committee schedules other fun events throughout the year. Following the Junior League on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter is also is a great way to keep up.


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Provisionals discuss ways JLNO can be more inclusive during a November Small Group meeting at Satsuma Cafe. (L-R: Provisional Chair, Ashley Lusk, Camille Bryant, Elise Johns, and Cori Cooper).

Mae Hill, one of the current Provisional Co-Chairs, offers this advice for provisionals, “I pushed myself beyond my comfort zone and just talked to people and got to meet some of the most dynamic and wonderful women in New Orleans, many I now consider good friends.”

She also feels that “having the opportunity to serve people in our community in different capacities really has deepened my appreciation for this beautiful community we call home!” Provisional Co-Chair Tomoro Wilson seconds that suggestion, “explore all opportunities that are available throughout The League and [do] not to be afraid to venture out and try shifts that are outside of the normalcy for you.”

Ashley Rusk, another Provisional Chair, shared her favorite part of her provisional year — a Second Harvest Food Bank shift. “I hadn’t done much service work since college, so I was eager to take advantage of the opportunities for service that The League provides. While sorting can[ned] goods, the other League members and I struck up a conversation, and it turned into a wonderful opportunity to connect on a more personal level.”

Eleanor Roosevelt, a member of the first Junior League chapter, also believed new experiences led to personal growth: “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.” So sit next to someone new at the next membership meeting, strike up a conversation at your next volunteer shift, and New Orleans will no longer be a new city—it will be home.


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Paula Jo Lascsak and Mae Emma Hill get together for a combined Esprit and Provisional Committee Meeting at Adelaide’s.