Consider Betsey Steeger, a long-time New York Junior League member and the recent recipient of the Volunteer Recognition Award from the Single Parent Resource Center, a New York City nonprofit that provides onsite education and support services to a racially and ethnically diverse population of more than 2,000 single parent families annually.
A single mother herself, Betsey began her association with the Single Parent Resource Center by helping the organization obtain grants from her church (Manhattan’s St. James’ Church) in the 1990’s. Later, she joined the SPRC board and was elected secretary, positions she has held for nearly 20 years.
But Betsey’s Junior League experience brought other benefits. SPRC is now one of NYJL’s community partners and will provide interactive play activities to parents and their young children through the League’s Building Blocks committee. Seven SPRC board members have come through the NYJL’s Nonprofit Boards Clearinghouse, and its Done in a Day-On Demand volunteers have assisted SPRC with its annual Family Holiday Party and with the Fall Fete fundraising event.
Betsey’s own Junior League story is also fascinating.
In 1956, after graduating from Wellesley College she joined NYJL, where she became the first editor of its newsletter. That experience helped her many years later when she was hired by AJLI as the editor of the Junior League Review, a magazine that received a national editorial award in 1991 and was recently archived by Harvard’s Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America.
As the editor of the Junior League Review (last published in 1995) Betsey interviewed Supreme Court Justice (and past president of the Junior League of Phoenix) Sandra Day O’Connor on the changing role of women, and former New York Governor Averell Harriman, on how he was inspired to enter politics by his older sister Mary Harriman, as well as accomplished women like U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Antonia Novello.
Later, Betsey attended the 1995 World Conference on Women in Beijing, and edited a conference report for AJLI called “Look at the World through A Woman’s Eyes.”