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Chatting with our Junior Board

Our Junior Board of Directors is comprised of students in grades 8-12, who have a passion for service-learning and leadership. Junior Board members come from schools all over central Indiana, and support JMF’s mission to serve children of ALL abilities.

We are now accepting applications for the 2021 Junior Board of Directors! Students can find the application, and additional information about our Junior Board HERE.

Keep reading to hear from some current Junior Board members about why they joined the board, and why they love JMF!

A.J. Black (He/Him/His), Park Tudor High School, Freshman

How did you first learn about JMF and the Junior Board?

I discovered JMF and the Junior Board through a school event. One of my middle school teachers is a member of JMF’s Board of Directors, and he recommended the Foundation as a great way to give back to the community. After spending a week in school learning about JMF and what they do, I was immediately drawn to their message to give kids the best childhood possible, and realizing my own luck concerning my own childhood, I knew this was something I needed to do.

What about the Junior Board do you most engage with – what interests you the most about it?

My main interest in the Junior Board is its purpose itself, to help the Joseph Maley Foundation fulfill its mission. To me that means helping children live their best lives no matter their circumstances. I’ve always wanted to give back, to help others achieve their fullest potential, and the Junior Board is an outlet for me to achieve that goal.

How do you think the Junior Board will influence your school and extracurricular pursuits?

My love and passion for the Junior Board has led me to pursue other opportunities to involve myself in the community. Above anything and everything, I believe in giving back, so my successes in the Junior Board will most assuredly influence me to pursue other community service opportunities.

What skills do you think you’re using the most through the Junior Board?

I believe I use my determination and leadership skills the most often as a Junior Board member. My determination leads me to accomplish whatever task is assigned to me, and to go above and beyond to help. In these assigned tasks as well as Junior Board in totality, I would argue that leadership is a necessity. Leaders help assure that quality work is being completed. My personality allows me to often take the next step and lead others, when some might shy away from that role.

In a few short words, how would you best sum up what Junior Board is? How would you convince someone to join it?

In a short synopsis, I would describe the Junior Board as such: the ultimate outlet to give. Through the Junior Board, I have met so many like-minded people similar to myself. I value giving back to the community, and the JMF Junior Board gives younger individuals who want to engage in service to their community opportunities that are unlike anything else available for someone my age.

What passions do you have that you feel are valuable to Junior Board?

My passion for video creation could most surely be utilized by JMF in the future for promotion, fundraising, or anything else required of me. As well as film-making, my determination is one of my most valuable assets to any group environment.

Anything else you’d like to share?

If I were to give advice to someone contemplating joining the Junior Board, my question to them would have to be, not what do you have to lose, but rather, what do you have to gain from this opportunity? There is truly no environment like JMF. A team of inspiring people working towards a common goal is a crucial experience to be a part of in the journey of life.

I mean this from the bottom of my heart: JMF gave me a whole new view of the world and changed how I look at it, completely altering my perspective of what I see around me.

Hannah Wleklinski, Zionsville High School, Senior

How did you first learn about JMF and the Junior Board?

My neighbor, Lisa Kayes, is a member of the Board of Directors. She knew that I was involved with Best Buddies and other programs that work with children with disabilities, so she recommended that I check out JMF and the Junior Board.

What about the Junior Board do you most engage with – what interests you the most about it?

My favorite part of the Junior Board has been the volunteer opportunities. I have enjoyed helping with Sibs Camp in the summer, as well as our annual service days. It’s rewarding to see the mission of “serving children of ALL abilities” at work during these programs.

How do you think the Junior Board will influence your school and extracurricular pursuits?

The Junior Board has taught me how to integrate service into different careers and programs. This has inspired me to look for colleges that encourage service and offer a variety of service opportunities.

What skills do you think you’re using the most through the Junior Board?

In the Junior Board, I use collaboration and analytical skills. Collaboration is important when working with the other members of the Junior Board to incorporate all of our ideas and perspectives into the programs and events that we are planning. Analytical skills are needed when figuring out specifics of a program or event, like budgeting or a timeline.

In a few short words, how would you best sum up what Junior Board is? How would you convince someone to join it?

Junior Board supports JMF’s mission of “serving children of ALL abilities” through fundraising, encouraging community involvement, and organizing service opportunities. JMF and the Junior Board are a strong community where everyone involved is passionate about the Foundation and its mission.

Mark Baker (He/Him/His), Cardinal Ritter High School, Senior

How did you first learn about JMF and the Junior Board?

I first learned about JMF through St. Monica, where I went to grade school. JMF put on Joseph Maley Friends puppet shows and we participated in their disABILITY Awareness program. My sister, Jacquie, joined the Junior Board when she was in high school, so I quickly became interested in becoming involved when I had the opportunity.

What about the Junior Board do you most engage with – what interests you the most about it?

I think being able to be apart of something that is larger than myself is something that has drawn me to the Junior Board. JMF’s mission has stuck with me throughout my life, and I knew that I wanted to get involved when I could. In addition, being able to meet other people that I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet otherwise is also a benefit of being a part of the Junior Board. 

How do you think the Junior Board will influence your school and extracurricular pursuits?

I think that my experience on the Junior Board will push me to be a part of similar types of clubs in college, and help me to connect with people and groups who might not have the largest voice.

What skills do you think you’re using the most through the Junior Board?

Being able to stay organized with various tasks, cooperating with others, and responsibility.

In a few short words, how would you best sum up what Junior Board is? How would you convince someone to join it?

The Junior Board is a group of high school students who want to help serve children of ALL abilities and support the Joseph Maley Foundation, even while in high school. I would urge others to join the Junior Board if that sounds like something they would be interested in or if they enjoy doing service and helping others.

What passions do you have that you feel are valuable to Junior Board?

I am very passionate about helping others, which I feel is valuable to the Junior Board. I have enjoyed putting on events, volunteering with other programs at JMF, and being a part of something larger than myself.

 

Would you like to apply to be on the 2021 Junior Board? Learn more HERE.

 

Blog written and interviews conducted by JMF Communications Associate, Gino Maley