Junior boards make impact in town

Local organizations enlist young community members to help support their missions and reach out to the next generation

If Jack Micaletti's job as president of the Hinsdale Hospital Foundation Junior Board looks like fun, it might be because it is. One of the board's major projects is the ice cream social held each August in Burlington Park. Members of the Junior Board plan art projects, games and of course, serve ice cream to build community and bring neighbors together.

Throughout the year members also make blankets for babies in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit and collect diapers and baby wipes for the Hinsdale Family Medical Center.

But Micaletti said his work with the Junior Board is about more than scooping ice cream and making new friends. It's about building community, developing leadership skills and helping people in need.

'It's helped me to grow professionally and personally," Micaletti said.

Alana Wett, director of philanthropy at The Community House, said its Junior Board is a huge help to the organization. She credits them with growing the annual Walk the Walk for Mental Health, which this year involved about 750 participants.

"That's a major increase from last year," said Wett.

Maya Menon and Nick Giordano serve as co-presidents of the board.

Menon said members of the board aren't fulfilling a requirement for graduation or logging hours for a merit badge. She said the Junior Board is made up of people who truly enjoy making a difference in their community.

"I've had a really good time doing it," said Giordano. Like Menon, he's met new people and made new friends through his work on the Junior Board.

Wett said the Junior Board supports events like the 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament, coming up in August, and members have increased The Community House's presence on Tik Tok, spreading the word of its work and services to a younger generation.

"It definitely strengthens the community," said Wett, now in her second year as adviser to the Junior Board. "They are just an amazing, dynamic group of individuals."

Groups of high school students are coming together to support organizations and the community throughout Hinsdale. Many are starting a new year in August and are in search of new members. Active Junior Boards include:

The Community House

What they do: The Community House Junior Board is a student-run group that coordinates and runs events like the annual Walk the Walk and participates in volunteer opportunities such as the Rotary Run, 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament, Willowbrook Corner Youth Learning Program and other projects throughout the year. There is a wide range of responsibilities on the Junior Board, including leading groups of volunteers at events. $20 annual dues.

Applications open: ongoing at http://www.thecommunityhouse.org/who-we-are/junior-board

Learn more: http://www.thecommunityhouse.org/who-we-are/junior-board

HCS Family Services

What they do: The Junior Board consists of 25-35 high school students who promote awareness for HCS Family Services, plan and create fundraisers and volunteer at the pantries located in Hinsdale and Willowbrook. Members must attend seven meetings and volunteer at a pantry four times per year. A $20 membership fee is required and includes a junior board T-shirt.

Applications open: Aug. 15-Sept. 1 via Instagram @hcsjrboard

Learn more: http://www.hcsfamilyservices.org/volunteer/junior-board

Hinsdale Hospital Foundation

What they do: The UChicago Medicine AdventHealth Hinsdale Junior Board fosters goodwill in the community and awareness for Hinsdale Hospital through events such as the annual ice cream social. More than 100 students come together to learn about the hospital and build friendships with peers. Requires $50 annual dues.

Apply: adventhealth.com/foundation/uchicago-medicine-adventhealth-foundations/junior-board-annual-dues

Learn more: http://www.adventhealth.com/foundation/uchicago-medicine-adventhealth-foundations/uchicago-medicine-adventhealth-hinsdale-junior-board

Hinsdale Humane Society

What they do: High school students are invited to participate in the Junior Board after completing 12 hours of service. This dedicated group plans events and fundraisers to promote animal adoption. Board members meet twice each month, must attend 2/3 of meetings and must participate in five events throughout the year.

Apply: Send an email to [email protected]

Learn more: hinsdalehumanesociety.org/volunteer/youth-volunteer-opportunities

Hinsdale Infant Welfare Society

What they do: Open to eighth- through 12th-graders, the Junior Board helps to raise awareness and funds for the Angel Harvey Center in Chicago, which serves over 12,000 women, infants and children with healthcare, dental care, orthodontics and optometry services each year. The Junior Board contributes hundreds of hats and mittens to the Health Center's children each winter. Members attend monthly meetings, participate in fundraisers and help staff the Hinsdale Auxiliary's signature event - Tablescapes.

Apply: Request an application at hinsdaleiws.com/contact.

Hinsdale Public Library Junior Advisory Board

What they do: Open to high school students interested in learning about the library and helping to plan activities and programming to enhance the library experience for their peers. JAB members must commit to seven meetings and actively participate.

Applications open: Now through Aug. 1

Learn more and apply: http://www.hinsdalelibrary.info/jab/

Wellness House Youth Council

What they do: The Wellness House Youth Council is a group of young, talented, passionate teens who care about supporting those affected by cancer. Members craft new ideas for Wellness House programs and offer insight on outreach and marketing efforts. They also work to spread the message of Wellness House to younger generations in the community and assist with special events for patients and the community, like the Walk for Wellness House.

Apply: Email or phone Brittany Brady at [email protected] or (630) 654-7205.

Learn more: http://www.wellnesshouse.org/volunteer/