A heart for service: Picayune’s Civic Women’s Club resurrects juniorette club

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The newly formed Juniorette Diamond Club.  Photo by Cassandra Favre

The newly formed Juniorette Diamond Club.
Photo by Cassandra Favre

Monday, for the first time in almost five years, the Civic Women’s Club of Picayune, an affiliate of the General Federation Women’s Club and the Mississippi Federation Women’s Club, hosted the first meeting of their newest junior service club, the Juniorette Diamonds.
The Women’s Club is a community-minded organization dedicated to a variety of causes including home life, scholarships, arts, international affairs, education and public issues.
Picayune Women’s Club member Debbie Benoit will serve as advisor to the club and member Darlene Adams will be her co-advisor.
“I love investing in the lives of our young people,” Benoit said. “They’re at that age when they want to change the world and getting them out in their community is a great start.”
During a recent trip to a convention, Adams said she watched many young women receive scholarship opportunities due to their involvement in a junior club.
“I couldn’t wait to come back and start this group again,” Adams said. “Our girls here deserve some of this good stuff.”
Benoit and Adams sent out 25 invitations to young women in seventh through 12th grades.
Candidates were selected based on their character, reputation in the community, performance in school and church activities, Adams said.
The structure beyond Benoit’s business will be converted into a clubhouse for members where they will hold their monthly meetings when the school year begins again, Benoit told the group.
Participants will learn the value of community service and build lasting friendships.
“By the time this year is over, this community will know you exist,” Benoit told the young women.
Julia Myers, 15, said she accepted the invitation to be a diamond because she wanted to continue participating in community service and outreach projects. Myers currently serves as a Volunteer Jr. Keeper at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. In addition to her work with animals, she volunteers at her church.
She said she is excited about the opportunity to learn leadership skills, earn scholarships and make new friends. Myers said she hopes one of the group’s outreach programs will include animals.
Kayla Morris, 17, said she wanted to be involved in community service after watching her mom participate in similar activities.
“I want to be involved in community service projects that benefit others, not just myself,” Morris said. “It will help me become a better person. It’s not just something that happens, you got to put a lot of work into it. I think our community needs to be more confident in each other and rely, trust and join together to get things done.”
Brooke Warden, 17, said she is excited to see this club revived.
She is already an active member in her church and volunteers at Christian Care Ministries, Sav-A-Life and various nursing homes.
“You have to give back to your home,” she said. “I want to see Picayune and Mississippi become better. I’m most excited about building friendships and investing time in the younger girls’ service and be involved in more community service.”

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