“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” This quote from anthropologist Margaret Mead has been in my mind after having the honor of moderating a panel discussion of JQs during the 2014 Quota convention.
Five young women – Hanna, Margie, McKenzie, Jordan and Emma — ranging in age from 13 to 18 – all had great stories to tell about their own JQ experience and offered tips to the Quotarians in attendance about how to start and how to best support a JQ in their own communities.
For some of the JQs, Quota was literally “in their blood” – they had grandmothers or aunts or mothers who were long-time Quotarians. However, one of the young women – Emma, age 13 — wanted to get involved with a JQ simply because she liked what she heard about the ways that Quota served the community and the world. Her JQ, mentored by QI of Estavan, Canada, is two years old and does both local service and raises funds for a service project in Africa through Beads of Awareness.
Several of the JQ mentors – adult Quotarians – explained how they got a JQ started. It was a true “labor of love” for these Quotarians, and reminded me of the famous Nike advertisements: Just Do It! Just ask, just get one or two young adults interested, and it will grow from there!
What do the JQs want from the mentoring club?
“Help us to grow,” they said. “Give us guidance and support us, but don’t impose a lot of rules. We want to do service, but JQ has to be FUN!”
It was interesting to see that one of the new JQs, just in the beginning stages, will be a regional JQ (Region 7), and the communication and meetings of the JQ members will take place via technology. This JQ is mentored by QI of Holyoke, MA, USA, and was charted on the same date as QI of Holyoke. Jordan and McKenzie, both 16, are excited about the opportunities to growth this JQ, and to help QI of Holyoke celebrate its 85th anniversary when the Region 7 JQ celebrates its first birthday!
Hanna’s JQ, now in its fourth year under the mentorship of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, has been doing service projects and hearing awareness programs of all types. This 14-year-old had a wonderful powerpoint to share with the group about her JQ and inspired us all!
Margie, 18, who just graduated from high school, was part of the founding group for her JQ, mentored by QI of Wooster, Ohio, USA. It’s a new group, but they have already been able to help children in the community and contribute to QI’s Service on Site program at Convention.
If I had any worries about the future of Quota, they have been put to rest by these wonderful young women!
Thank you to all the JQs and to all the mentoring clubs. I’m sure we’ll hear much more about these clubs and these outstanding young women in the future!
–Michelle Fryling, QI of Indiana, Pa. Inc., USA, Past East Area Director (2011-2014)