My JCI Journey
It is a long time since I started my journey so the some of the chronology is hazy but there is something that stands out through every year since I first joined in December 2000 – the people.
This organisation is made up of everyday people but they have one difference from everyone else. They care and it can be about anything from their local community to world issues but they all want to make a difference. The people I met at my first JCI event are still friends today. They are people I am proud to be associated with and I want to support them in their challenges through life as they have willingly supported me through mine.
Whilst being a member I have been gently (and sometimes not quite so gently) pushed out of my comfort zone making try and learn new skills, experience new places and benefitted personally and professionally every step of the way.
I have friends around the world, been trained on leadership in the forest outside Gothenburg and on Marketing and media skills on the slopes leading up to the Acropolis in Athens. I have heard the Chief Executive of Toyota explain their work culture across the globe in Japanese in Fukuoka, Japan (with an English translation in my ear!) and I have visited the Taj Mahal all through JCI.
Being local president in 2004 enhanced my networking opportunities across Sheffield and gave me increased confidence. This had a big impact on my work as a fundraiser and helped increase my passion for the city and wanting to help the people in it in whatever way I can.
I have remained in touch with the organisation and acted as a mentor to newer members and been available to support when issues have arisen. Sometimes my challenge then has been to advise and step back and let people learn and grow for themselves. I have found this even more rewarding.
I have received awards, been on the local, regional and national committees in various roles and been awarded a Senatorship (lifetime membership) as well as honorary lifetime membership of the local organisation, however, the first thing I think of when asked about are the benefits of JCI, I will always say the people.
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Ryan Pilkington