The first Junior League was founded in 1901 by a 19-year-old New York City college student, Mary Harriman. Moved by the suffering she saw all around her, Harriman mobilized a group of 80 other young women to work at a settlement house in lower Manhattan. The Junior League idea spread rapidly across the country, and by 1921 more than 40 Leagues joined together to form the Association of Junior Leagues.
In 1925, Mrs. Lawrence F. Tucker, with ten charter members, formed the Junior League of Norfolk, and their first community service was providing transportation to city agencies. The Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach, Inc. (JLNVB), has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in direct grants to various community organizations, ranging from the cultural (Academy of Music), to the educational (Literacy Project PALS), to social welfare (ForKids, Inc.). In addition to a multitude of community grants over our 85 year history, the women of the JLNVB have committed thousands of volunteer hours each year towards improving our communities.
The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. and the Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach, Inc., have prospered and grown in the years since their inception. The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (AJLI) now has 293 member Leagues in four countries, bringing together hundreds of thousands of women from varying backgrounds and interests who share a commitment to volunteering. The Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach, Inc. has about 500 members and our association is rooted in the belief that a group of women can be a powerful force for change. AJLI offers women the opportunity to implement change in their communities and to connect with other women concerned for our present and our future generations. AJLI offers development and empowerment to women leaders in order to increase the impact that Junior Leagues worldwide make in their communities.