2018 Active of the Year Award!
By Samantha Parker
The Junior League of Edmonton established the Active of the Year award in 2002 as a way to recognize one active member per year, who exemplifies the League’s mission of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. As ambassadors of the League, these women not only do an outstanding job of fulfilling all the responsibilities associated with their placement but also go above and beyond the call of duty in other areas of the League. The award acknowledges the active member who best demonstrates the spirit of voluntarism, the value of teamwork and the willingness to take on new challenges in order to build a better community.
Congratulations to Laurel Phillips our winner of the Active of the Year Award!
“I have had the pleasure of knowing Laurel for a number of years and was thrilled when she decided to join the League. I knew that the League would benefit from Laurel’s fierce dedication to issues that impact women and girls and her broad range of skills and talents. The League is so lucky to have Laurel and this award is well deserved” – Sharon Mvundura, Director of Communications
How long have you been a JLE member?
I joined the JLE in Winter 2017 and became an active member in May 2017.
What does it mean to you to receive this award?
It’s definitely a confidence booster! We work with an amazing group of women so it honestly hadn’t even crossed my mind that I would be in consideration for this. I know I’m definitely guilty of getting caught up with “impostor syndrome”, feeling like a fraud and doubting my accomplishments, so I suppose this was a nice reminder that I’m on the right track.
What is your favorite memory in your time being with the league?
Finally completing my new member project was a great experience. I was part of the first class to undertake the “Girls in the Know” project. It was incredibly rewarding seeing all of our efforts come together to provide a fun night of activities for a group of young girls.
What is one thing that everyone can do to improve the climate for Junior League internationally?
Standing up for our convictions even if they might not be popular. I was really impressed with the resolution Hannah brought to the AJLI meeting to consider dropping “junior” from the name. Even though the resolution didn’t end up getting passed, it’s still important to have these kinds of conversations.
Do you have any advice for new or active JLE members?
Don’t be afraid to take on new challenges. I was pretty nervous about taking on a chair position in my first year as an active member but in the end it turned out to be a great learning experience. It’s hard to grow if you never step out of your comfort zone.
What or who inspires you and why?
This is a tough question as there are so many amazing people that I look up to. I’m going to go with Roxane Gay right now since I just finished reading her essay collection “Bad Feminist”. Her writing is incredibly insightful and she isn’t afraid to question the status quo, including what it means to be a feminist.
Congratulations Laurel on your award, you are awesome 🙂