Junior League of Olympia

Women Building Better Communities

Save the date! Community Summit will be held
Feb. 25, 2017 at South Puget Sound Community College's Lacey Campus 

OLYMPIA, Washington – The Junior League of Olympia (JLO) hosted on Feb. 27 at South Puget Sound Community College in Lacey its fourth annual Community Summit on Resilient Children, Resilient Communities – an event unique to the Association of Junior League International (AJLI). 


The 2016 JLO Community Summit supports the Junior League of Olympia's focus area of preventing child abuse and neglect in Thurston County. The summit follows principles of AJLI’s issue-based community impact model and works to bring community members, partners, parents and other interested parties together in order to facilitate collaborative community change. Through parenting education and a community conversation, JLO and the community developed ideas to help Olympia and Thurston County provide services to better resiliency in children and parents.


"With a unique ability to bring together community leaders, parents, nonprofit leaders, education and business professionals in a non-stigmatized location, the Junior League of Olympia is proud to be able to provide the Community Summit to our community every year. The Junior League of Olympia is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers,” said Hannah McDonald, JLO president.


The 2016 JLO Community Summit focused on "Parenting in Today's Modern World" and was a complete success! Thanks to supporting partners – Thurston Thrives, Thurston County Economic Development Council, Family Education and Support Services and Mixx 96.1 – JLO provided a full day of educational activities to more than 125 total attendees. 


“The Community Summit helps JLO fulfill this mission in a myriad of different ways,” McDonald continued. “First and foremost, the Community Summit improves our community by bringing together people to learn and discuss problems and issues they may be encountering in their lives. In addition, it provides resources to parents in the community and a safe space to learn and discuss concerns community members may have. Additionally, by planning and implementing the Community Summit, Junior League members learn and develop to be more effective leaders and trained volunteers. Lastly, it promotes voluntarism in our community, as the Community Summit is put on entirely by volunteers.”


Bestselling author and acclaimed parenting education speaker Barbara Coloroso provided the keynote address from her books “Kids are Worth It.” Following the keynote, attendees were able to attend breakout sessions from presenters from South Puget Sound Community College, Thurston TOGETHER! and the Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney's Office on topics ranging from technology's impact on brain health and development, age appropriate use of technology, cyberbullying and sexting, and how to talk to your children about difficult topics like substance use.


Also included in the day was a community leaders panel discussion, including top staff from SafePlace and Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, on Raising Strong Kids in a World of Mixed Messages. Attendees were able to listen to advice and interact with the panelists by asking questions on how to best interact with their children with topics including how to deal with negative self esteem and unhealthy behaviors.


The day was rounded out with an interactive community conversation that offered participants a chance to take what they have learned throughout the day and discuss what strengths and challenges are present in Olympia and Thurston County and how we can collectively make progress in building a more resilient community.


“Another great day for families living in the South Puget Sound thanks to the extraordinary leadership exhibited by the many members of the Junior League of Olympia,” said Shelly Willis, executive director, Family and Education Support Services, whose organization sponsored the keynote speaker. “The collective ‘village’ has once again joined forces to support the health and well-being of children.”


During the day, attendees also had the ability to attend a community resource fair. Twenty-one different local organizations were present to provide information on local resources available to all parents and children.


And for the first time in the event’s history, JLO was able to provide free childcare to 22 children whose guardians attended the summit. It was an important goal of the Community Summit committee to provide access to free childcare for community members who may not have been able to attend the event otherwise.


Voluntarism is one of the main focuses of AJLI, and the 2016 Community Summit saw more than 25 JLO members volunteer and participate in the event’s activities throughout the day. JLO prides itself on providing meaningful volunteer opportunities to its members.


JLO is gearing up for the 2017 Community Summit. Several speakers and resource fair participants have already indicated a desire to return next year and for years to come! Partners have also already signed on to support the committee in securing a location and keynote speakers. Be on the lookout for more information on the 2017 Community Summit on www.jlolympia.org.

Many thanks to our 2016 sponsors!