Mary Helen Strain - Planning and Research Council
Mary Helen Strain has been a member of JLM since 2004. She is currently employed as the Technology Lab Assistant at St. Ignatius Catholic School. She received her BS from Auburn University. She is marred to David Strain, Jr. and has two children.
What is your current placement in JLM?
How important do you think the training aspect of JLM’s mission is to members and yourself in particular?
I believe training is a large part of who we are as an organization. I cannot tell you how many women I have spoken with during my years in JLM that have learned things they never would have learned if it had not been for JLM. In every placement we have, there is something new to be learned. Whether it is becoming computer literate or learning how to teach an adult how to read, these are skills we will carry with us for life. The best part is that it is women training women to make a huge impact in our community. My mother, a JLM Sustainer, always says, “You can tell when you are working with a woman who has been ‘Junior League trained’,” and she is absolutely right! I can tell because the JLM trained woman is efficient, organized, passionate about volunteering, and always a lady in every situation. Personally, my training with JLM has been essential to my career. I went back to work last year after having been a stay-at-home mother for six years. I will be the first to tell you my training with the JLM gave me an edge at work. I learned so much about logistics and technology from serving on Christmas Jubilee and being Placement Chair. These are things I would have had to learn on the job and having those skills made the transition from home to work that much easier.
Do you feel that the training you have received with JLM in your current position will help you in future endeavors?
Absolutely! The training I have had as Research Chair has been invaluable. Getting to interview our members on different topics and researching other Junior Leagues across our country has been fun and intriguing. I learn the most from the women on the Planning and Research Council. Every meeting we have I get to take away something new I have learned from these outstanding women. Sometimes you do not even realize everything you have absorbed until later on during a work, home, or another JLM experience!
What is the greatest lesson that you have learned this year in your current placement?
The greatest lesson I have learned is that everyone needs someone to listen to them. That sounds very simple, but sometimes we are moving so fast we forget to sit quietly and really listen to what the person is telling us.