The provisional year has officially begun at The Junior League of Nashville! In August, JLN welcomed 133 new provisional members to the Class of JLN year 99. These women will be beginning their first year with the League in a different way than past years. Since COVID-19 caused a pivot away from the traditional way of doing things, the provisionals will be starting off their League year mostly online. The Provisional Co-Chairs are working very diligently in conjunction with the Provisional Advisors to make sure that their initial experiences with JLN are just as welcoming and inspiring as they would be in-person. They will not let COVID-19 hinder the provisional experience!
On September 19, our provisional members had the opportunity to come outside of JLN Headquarters for the first time to pick up their necessary supplies. The Provisional Co-Chairs created a drive-thru event where the provisionals could meet some people from the League in person, but still maintain social distancing measures of keeping at least six feet apart. The Provisional Co-Chairs decorated the parking lot at HQ with balloons, adorable yard art, and a huge welcome in chalk. JLN President, Sarah Creekmore Woodall, was also there welcoming the new Provisionals! She even brought her future JLN member daughter, Eva Grace! It was a fun day of passing out folders full of League information and meeting our new members. Everyone involved was outside, wearing their masks maintaining distance and using lots of hand sanitizer.
We emailed a few active members asking them to share their provisional experiences. It was so much fun to hear their favorite memories or their best tips for the new provisional class. Kaitlin Parham, Membership Experience Chair, had a great tip for how to get the most out of the provisional year. Kaitlin wrote, “Try to go to as many events as you can throughout JLN! There are so many amazing women in the league, and that is the best way to branch out and make meaningful connections. Everyone in JLN is so friendly and eager to meet new people!” This was a common sentiment. They all expressed the importance of getting involved with as much as possible, so that the experience is memorable and worthwhile.
Karen Riddell, Training Development Chair-Elect, said her favorite memory stemmed from camaraderie with her Provisional Group. “My favorite memory of my provisional year was the final dinner my group had after we completed our project! It was so fun to have known the women for a year and to have completed a large chunk of work for Youth Villages. Making connections with people, and maintaining them, is such a special part of JLN, and I’m honored to be part of it.”
Emmy Banks, Training Development Chair, shared her favorite memory of JLN which includes her love of volunteering for the community. Emmy said, “My favorite memory from my provisional year was volunteering at Members in Motion with Nashville Dolphins! I hold a special place in my heart for individuals with intellectual or developmental differences, as my dad’s older brother has Down Syndrome. This was such a fun, light-hearted, inclusive group that served to foster friendships and a team mentality among the participants. Further, I had already met several of the team members through Best Buddies – so it was great to see some familiar faces. I loved it so much that I volunteered at the same spot my second year, as well!”
We are so excited to welcome the new class of provisional members to the Junior League of Nashville and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for this group of incredible women!