Origin of Jaycees
Junior Chamber International
The origin of Jaycees can be traced as far back as 1910 to the city oh St. Louis, Mision, in the United States of America. A young man named Henry “Hy” Geissenbier and his friends formed the Herculaneum Dance club with the main objective of preserving conservative dance style. Five years later in 1915, Colonel H.N. Micgran, a prominent St. Louis citizen, inspired the members of the dance club to become more involved in the civic issues. Giessenbier and 32 other young men formed the young Men’s Progressive Association (YMPCA) on October 19, 1915. This organization grew to a membership of 750 in less than five months.
THE BIRTH OF JAYCEES
The very next year, 1916 was another change of names as the YMPCA became Junior Citizens, commonly called JCs, which later became Jaycees. During World War the JCs formed company “L” of the 138th infantry regiment. The commander was Dwight Gevis who later became Assistant Secretary of War and denoted the David Cup Tennis victory. The year 1918 marked another change as the JCs was affiliated to the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce and officially become the St. Louis Junior Chamber of Commerce.
After World War I, Giessenbier contacted other cities in the United States with similar young businessmen’s groups and subsequently 29 clubs from around the nation formed the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce. Henry “Hy” Giessenbier was elected the first president of the national organization. Crossing the Atlantic, the international chapter of the organization began in 1932 with the Winnipeg Board of Trades becoming the first Junior Chamber outside the United States. By 1928 the idea of an international body crossed the Atlantic Ocean to England.
During the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, the United States Junior Chamber contacted 42 nations with the idea of forming an International Executive Council of Junior Chambers of Commerce. When 26 countries responded, the International Executive Council was formed. This council had a very short life span and ceased to exist in 1935. However, the idea did not die.
Five years later a resolution was passed by the U.S. Junior Chamber, approving a programme to further mutual interests among Central and South America. This led to the establishment of Junior Chambers in Mexico City, Gautemala City, El. Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rice and Panama in1943. As a result of this, the realization of Jaycees international was on its way. In 1944 the first international conference called Inter America Conference was held in Mexico City. Raul Garcia Vidal from Mexico was elected the first president. The countries which formed Junior Chamber International in 1944 were Costa Rice, EI Salvador, Gautemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and the United States.
Two years later in 1946 the first world congress was held in Panama City in the month of February. This Congress was attended by 44 delegates from 16 different countries. The international organization was formally constituted, a temporary constitution was approved, an emblem was adopted, and the word “Commerce” was omitted from the name. At this time, the Union Nations, which had been formed only a few months before on October 24, 1945, was officially endorsed by Junior Chamber.
Erasmo Chambonnet of Panama was elected the second JCI President at that congress and Australia and Canada were officially affiliated. The constitution of Junior Chamber International was officially adopted at the second World Congress in Dallas, Texas, U.S.A. in 1947. Jaycees International (the name Junior Chamber was formally changed to Jaycees International, Inc., in 1972) which has since grown from strength. Many vigorous programs were undertaken during the early years, e.g Christmas Package Drive for Korea which netted400 tons of relief supplies worth US 1 million; “Operation Brotherhood in Virtnam”, and “Operation Warmth” for Greek earthquake victims.
Many important decisions were made such as adopting the JCI Creed (1948), establishment a permanent Secretarial (1952), finding the Senate Program (1952), initiating the official publication JCI WORLD (1954 –now LEADER), adopting the Commission System and the 100 percent JCI individual membership Program (1960). Through the years Jaycees international has changed with the times. The Commission System was changed to the Areas of Activity concept in 1974. This then became the Areas of Opportunity Concept in 1979 and was refined to a combination of the Areas of Opportunity and Commission Systems in 1985. JCI WORLD was changed to LEADER in 1984 in order to reflect the better image of the organization. Women were welcomed into the membership and Ebba Zachariassen from Swaden was elected First Female International Officer in 1976.
That faith in god gives meaning and purpose to human life,
That the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations,
That economic justice can best be won by free men through free enterprise,
That government should be of laws rather than of men,
That earth’s great treasure lies in human personality,
And that service to humanity is the best work of life.
– Bill Brownfield
From within the walls of the soul of this organization wherein the foundation of character and good citizenship are laid, I hope a message will come in the sometime of tomorrow that will stir the people towards the establishment of a permanent and everlasting world peace. – Henry Giessenbier (1892-1935).
JCI is a worldwide community of young active citizens ages 18-40 who share the belief that in order to create positive change, we must take collective action to improve ourselves and the world around us. Engaging in activities ranging from community development to international projects, members demonstrate their social responsibility and improve themselves through participation, leadership and action.
The decision to become a Jaycee has marked the turning point in the lives of the majority of members all over the world. “This organization has broadened my horizons. It has made life worth living. It has helped me to understand better my fellowmen” are a few of the comments of members when describing the effect of their involvement in the Junior Chamber organization. Many successful men and women have given full credit to the Junior Chamber organization for their success. This organization has seen members who joined as office messengers become presidents of their respective companies.
The leadership training and direct experience offered within the junior chamber have inspired many members to serve their countries at various government levels, even up to Prime Minister. Poul Schluter, Prime Minister of Denmark, Senator Huber H. Humphery, 38th Vice president of the United States and Yasuhiro Nakasone, Prime Minister of Japan are just a few of the world’s greatest leaders who acquired many of their skills from the Junior Chamber Organisation.
Involvement in the Junior Chamber can create such a tremendous impact on a person’s life that leads to a totally new individual. All that is needed is an open mind and a willingness to make oneself a better person. The miracle of the Junior Chamber does not happen overnight or by a flash of lightning. It takes much longer than that. It is and evolutionary process that is determined by the amount of efforts, time and energy that the member is prepared to contribute. The input determines the output. A person’s attitude towards the Junior Chambers organization. Will determine the organisation’s attitude towards the individual.
Mission: To provide development opportunities that empowers young people to create positive change.
• Junior Chamber is a vehicle for personal growth. It offers members opportunities to develop leadership, management and social skill whilst making a valuable contribution to their community.
Vision: To be the leading global network of young active citizens.
- Jc. is a dynamic organization with a growing membership of men and women between the of 18 and 40 drawn from all sectors of Business & Community life.
- It expects members to contribute to the economic and social development of their local communities which in turn will benefit the world as a whole.
- It encourages members to develop their self confidence and provide opportunities to develop their leadership and business skills in a low threat environment through practical projects and supportive coaching.
- It encourages members to strength themselves by taking on new responsibilities providing by project and chamber management positions.
- It encourages members to experience an International Dimension through affiliation to Junior Chamber International, represented in 115 countries by nearly 6,00,000 members
- Faith in God
- The brotherhood of man
- Individual freedom and dignity
- Government of laws
- Human personality
- Service to humanity
Be Better: JCI members constantly seek ways to live JCI slogan: Be Better. They not only believe that improvement is possible, they believe it is their responsibility to initiate positive change both in themselves and in their local community. All members around the world share this sense of social responsibility and the initiative to take action to create a better future for all.
JCI Around the World: With over 5,000 Local Organizations in more than 100 countries and territories, JCI forms a vibrant international community of nearly 200,000 active citizens. All members belong to a JCI Local Organization where they focus on finding solutions to improve their local community. Local Organizations are affiliated to National Organizations where members coordinate activities on national and international scales.
This structure links JCI members together to form a global grassroots movement creating global impact through local action.
International Events: Each year, members from all over the globe come together at the JCI World Congress. At this event, JCI critical mass of young people unite to share experiences, understand the interconnectedness of our world and facilitate international cooperation. This global forum enables members to find new ways to take action in their local communities and make globalization a positive force.
JCI also hosts four regional conferences each year: Africa and the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, the Americas and Europe. At these conferences, JCI conducts its affairs, hosts training, and gives members the opportunity to address global issues and show their commitment to becoming socially responsible leaders.
JCI World Headquarters: The JCI World Headquarters is located in Chesterfield, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A., where the first local organization was founded. A professional staff of full-time employees provides services to JCI members.
What does JCI give?
The confidence to reach inside yourself and achieve more than you would have thought possible as a business, social and political leader.
What is in it for me?
- • Management opportunities: Through activities and training members get managerial skills.
- • Individual development opportunities: Through lot of training programs members can enhance their skills and personality.
- • Community development opportunities: Through relevant community development projects members can get a chance to work for the community.
- • Growth & development opportunities : Through the world wide contacts members can build a big network and learn the different customs and culture of different parts of the world.
- • Business opportunities: Through the contacts available through the organization, the members can develop their business and can contribute for the economical growth of their nations.
Responsibilities of Jaycees:
The strength of the Jaycee movement lies in its individual members and not in the organization itself. While it is voluntary on the part of the part of the members to join the organization, there are certain inherent responsibilities of each and every member.
The obligation of each member can be listed as follows:
- To actively participate in the chapter’s activities which means involvement and not mere attendance.
- To present the correct image of the movement in general and of his own chapter in particular, to any other individual or organization.
- To help in the propogation of the movement by attracting other young men into Jayceeism.
- Towards the establishment of a permanent world peace
The Jaycee dream and purpose are most clearly expressed in the words of founder Henry Giessenbier who said:
“FROM WITHIN THE WALLS OF SOUL OF THIS ORGANIZATION, WHEREIN THE FOUNDATION OF CHARACTER AND CITIZENSHIP ARE LAID, I HOPE A MESSAGE WILL COME IN THE SOMETIME OF TOMORROW THAT WILL STIR THE PEOPLE TOWARDS THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PERMANENT AND EVERLASTING WORLD PEACE.”
Giessenbier had the foresight to believe that character and citizenship could contribute towards a permanent world peace. His dream and purpose for the Jaycee were to offer the membership opportunities that would build strong, positive characters and a sense of citizenship, not only of communities, cities and countries, but of the whole world.
LEADERSHIP FELLOWSHIP & SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
As per the Jaycees International Constitution, headed purpose of the Jaycees” affects the dream of the founder;
The purpose of the Jaycees, inspired by the Declaration of Principles, shall be to contribute to the advancement of the global community by providing the opportunity for young people to develop the leadership skills, social responsibility, and fellowship necessary to create positive change.
“World Peace is more specific:
- The organization, in affirming its foundation of principles and recognizing the fundamental goal of founder Henry Giessenbier, Jr. commits itself to strive for a true and everlasting world peace.
- The organization operates on the premises that the development of individual character and personality will result in better developed communities and eventually a more peaceful world.
Most educational institutions focus on the passing of an examination and amassing of degrees rather than the development of personalities. It is said that the purpose of educational is to prepare the individual for life; not just to able to perform a job.
Life is much more than just doing a job. Life is caring, sharing, loving, understanding and communicating. The Jaycees strive to complete any lack in the development of its individual members.
A PEOPLE ORGANISATION
Jaycees is a people organization. People resort to violence than communication, understanding, patience, tolerance, reason and love cease to exist. The Jaycee plan is to offer opportunities to the members that will reinforce these qualities. If the Jaycee organization can be described as a University of Life, the students are its members; the curriculum is Leadership Development and its campus, the World. The idea is to bring people together. Many opportunities are created for people with various social, cultural, ethnic, religious, economic and national backgrounds to meet.
At national Conventions, area conferences, and world congresses, members come face to face with one another and have a chance to share experiences and exchange ideas which lead to better understanding and co-operation. A bond of brotherhood and genuine friendship is established as Jaycees seek the ways and means to improve themselves and the world in which they live.
The purpose of the Jaycees is to show the rest of the world:
- That all human being can be developed;
- That all are equal;
- That the world is interdependent;
- That the world does not belong to man; but man belongs to the world;
- And consequently, every man is a citizen of the world.
Facts About Jaycees:
- JCI is about making change.
- We are a global movement that challenges the status quo.
- We inspire young people to recognize their responsibility to create a better world and empower them to drive change.