Association of Junior Leagues International

mary harriman
Mary Harriman

In 1901, Mary Harriman (left), a 19-year-old New York City debutante, founded the first Junior League. Moved by the suffering she saw around her, Harriman mobilized a group of 80 young women - hence the name "Junior" League - to work to improve the squalid conditions in which immigrants were living on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Harriman's vision for improving communities by using the energy and commitment of trained volunteers caught on. The second Junior League was started in Boston, MA in 1907. In 1912, the first League outside the United States was founded in Montreal, Canada. As a growing international organization, the Junior Leagues formed an Association in 1921 to provide continuity, support and leadership development to Junior Leagues in the United States, Canada and, in following years, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Today the Junior League is a movement of 170,000 women in 293 Leagues each improving communities as Mary Harriman did in 1901.






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