2014-2015 Annual Projects Announced


LANCASTER, PA (September 10, 2014) – The Junior League of Lancaster (JLL) held its first General Membership Meeting of the 2014-2015 year on September 8, 2014 at the Cork Factory Hotel. Members voted to continue their support of projects and initiatives that focus on childhood education including Kids in the Kitchen, Girls in Business and the newly formed Lydia Smith Hamilton Society (LHS Society).

The Junior League’s Kids in the Kitchen program is designed to help communities address the urgent issues surrounding childhood obesity and poor nutrition. The JLL also sponsors Girls in Business, a business plan competition for high school girls in Lancaster County. The competition is a starting point for students to share ideas, work with a female mentor from the Lancaster business community, gain exposure to business development, build confidence in presentation and communication skills and compete for a monetary prize.

The LHS Society is a mentoring program designed in cooperation with J.P. McCaskey High School to help girls develop social, business, research and entrepreneurial skills. Members of the LHS Society will be encouraged select and research a female historical figure with the hope that the lessons learned, specifically how to overcome obstacles to the betterment of themselves and their community, will translate to modern life. By the end of the 3-year commitment, LHS Society members will serve as mentors to new members and take part in historical reenactments throughout Lancaster County.

Lydia Hamilton Smith was the daughter of an African-American mother and an Irish father who rose to prominence in the 1860s as the business manager for abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens. She also owned six houses, including several boarding homes. The legacy of her life is the inspiration for the expected outcomes of the LHS Society for the girls who are involved including a greater sense of independence, self-awareness and poise; a deeper sense of the role female historical figures have played in the development of the United States; and an enhanced ability to deal with life and its struggles.

The 12 members of the LHS Society will be selected through an essay application process in October. Members of the JLL, McCaskey High School teachers and staff, and Darlene Colon, a Lydia Hamilton Smith reenactor, will participate in weekly group meetings and serve as mentors.