A few years back I was at a turning point in my career. New to Keller Williams, I was meeting with local women seeking wisdom for how to get orientation, vision and give a little more purpose to my career and life. Each woman I met with kept saying “Junior League”. I asked one woman for clarity and it truly feels like the rest is history.
If you aren’t familiar with Junior League, it is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and to improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. The non-profit provides support, training and networking for women all over the world. In Santa Barbara, we’re focused on building up foster youth and reducing human trafficking in Santa Barbara County (and hopefully around the world!).
I have loved being a part of the Junior League here in Santa Barbara for the past three years. I’ve attended trainings on emotional intelligence, change fatigue and networking as leverage for board of trustees or business. This year I am the vice chair for the Impacts Committee, responsible for supporting 10-15 local non-profits achieve their financial and non-financial goals. We directly support non-profits like Domestic Violence Solutions, Noah’s Anchorage and Angel’s Foster Care.
By far one of our most exciting initiatives will be the SAFE House, a 6-bed shelter, designed specifically to provide trauma-informed therapy and housing for victims of sex trafficking in Santa Barbara County. With only 18 beds in the entire state dedicated to young women who have been sex trafficked, opening a 6-bed home will make a significant difference in getting these girls rehabilitated and keeping them from running back to their exploiters.
While Junior League isn’t the answer to all my questions regarding my vision and purpose (wouldn’t that be nice?!) it’s been fruitful to be a part of an organization that makes such a large impact locally and globally. On top of it all, I’ve been able to bring my training from the Junior League to make an impact with the clients I get to work with everyday at the Zia Group.
If you have any questions about the Junior League or how you can help us see the SAFE House come into fruition in Santa Barbara County, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email or phone, email@example.com or 805-456-3682!
~Veronica Ocejo Johnson