The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (AJLI) is a nonprofit organization of 293 Junior Leagues in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. Junior Leagues are educational and charitable women's organizations aimed at improving their communities through voluntarism and building their members' civic leadership skills through training. As a side effect of this they also benefit their members by offering networking opportunities.
The first Junior League, the Junior League for the Promotion of the Settlement Movement (now the Junior League of the City of New York, Inc.) was founded in 1901 in New York City
by Mary Harriman, daughter of railroad executive Edward H. Harriman
. The organization's first project was a settlement house
. The league was soon emulated, and by 1921, 30 Leagues joined to form the national association.
In 1921, Dorothy Payne Whitney became the first president of the Association of Junior Leagues International Inc., operating as the umbrella organization for all Junior Leagues worldwide. There are currently 293 Leagues in Canada, the United States, Mexico and the UK. The first League outside the United States was in Montreal, Canada.
Notable League members
Members listed are not solely a representation of women who have dedicated their time to the Junior League, but rather are or have been associated with the organization. Several have achieved notoriety on their own merit apart from this organization. They should not be confused with those members who are considered "Outstanding Volunteers".
- Margot Birmingham, wife of Ross Perot
- Lindsay Brice, photographer
- Barbara Bush, former First Lady
- Jeannie Deakyne, Army Officer and recipient of the Bronze Star Medal
- Marisol Deluna, fashion designer
- Nancy Reagan, former First Lady
- Judith Giuliani (neé Nathan), wife of Rudolph Giuliani
- Mary Harriman, founder of the Junior League
- Carolyn Maloney, US Congresswoman
- Sandra Day O'Connor, former Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
- Suzanne Perron, fashion designer
- Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady
- Jessica Feddersen, Chief Justice Financial Reporting Court of Law
Women who perform at an exceptional level within the organization are honored with this recognition within their respective chapter. This award is given to those whose commitment to their chapters far exceeds the standard requirements of membership.
- Provisional- Entry level or training period.
- Active- A member who dedicates her time through volunteerism.
- Sustainer- A member who elects to pay dues and not have the requirement of volunteerism. She must be 40 years of age or have been in the League for at least ten years.
- Honorary- A member who has dedicated much of her life to the Junior League. This often includes past presidents and board members.