Each fall marks the beginning of a new League year for The Junior League of Austin (JLA). And with the start of each League year comes a new group of League members. First-year members, called Provisional members, bring new energy and fresh faces to the League.
The Provisional class is an important part of the JLA membership and community programs: as a class, they power the Food in Tummies (FIT) program.
As the new League year gets underway, this article spotlights a few members of this year’s Provisional class.
Meet the Members
This year’s Provisional class is led by Tima Brown, 10-year League member and 2021–2022 Provisional Chair. Brown is proud to contribute her time and energy to have a positive impact on the community.
“This has been my dream role for a while,” says Brown, “fostering leadership development, making community impact, and building relationships are all big passions of mine.”
Kayla Abney and Ashley Glover are two members of this year’s Provisional class.
“What attracted me the most was the opportunity to get involved in giving back to the community and getting to meet new people,” says Abney. “I found out about JLA during the first peak of COVID, and at the time, I remember it was really weighing on me, hearing sad news constantly. It fueled my desire to be able to make a positive impact and volunteer more, but I wasn’t too sure on the best way to do so. The more I read into JLA and the Junior League in general, I immediately felt like it was the perfect fit for what I had been looking for.”
Glover enjoys both the community within the League and the connection to the surrounding city. She looks forward to connecting with fellow Provisionals during FIT shifts. She likes that the shifts are “hands-on” and will give her face time with her peers.
Adapting to COVID-19
Being a Provisional during a pandemic is not without its challenges. The large-scale gatherings that are typical of the League have had to be pared down to allow for social distancing.
“The positive of being in year two of the virus is that we have more information on how to engage safely,” says Brown. “Luckily, generating ideas is my middle-of-the-night superpower— this “gift”—mixed with the creative minds on my committee, has already proven to be a value in maneuvering the changing landscape of the pandemic.”
Brown and her committee have been hard at work creating opportunities for connections for this year’s Provisional class.
As is tradition, the Provisional class is divided into small groups based on location. Although typically these groups would include 15–20 women, this year the groups are much smaller in size—about six to seven people per group. This allows the groups to gather for some in-person events while maintaining social distancing and avoiding large gatherings.
“I am already impressed by how JLA has put a focus on keeping us safe and adapting as needed while still getting to have fun, such as the virtual orientation with the drive-through goody bag pick up,” Abner said.
This year is shaping up to be yet another unique year with its own set of challenges and complications, but as always, the Provisional class and committee are ready to rise to the occasion.
About the writer: Bria Moore is currently in her third year of service with The Junior League of Austin. A University of Texas Longhorn, Bria has loved Austin since her first taste of Amy’s Ice Cream 10 years ago. On her days off you can find her relaxing at home with her pets or soaking up the beauty and wonder of the city of Austin.