Making a World of Difference
There is a limit to what governments are able to achieve in society. As responsible citizens in a globalized world, JCI members take on the challenges around them through local development initiatives. These tailored projects require members to use strategic planning and critical planning to craft creative solutions to the problems of their communities.
JCI members seek ways to live out our slogan, Be Better. We think critically about society’s greatest challenges and act on behalf of our communities to be part of the solution. We seek better solutions to build better communities, creating a better future.
The Original Active Citizens
As global citizens, we all have rights and responsibilities, as well as shared goals. Through active citizenship, we enact our sense of social responsibility to work towards these goals and benefit communities worldwide.
Our Founder, Henry Giessenbier, was the original active citizen. He took steps to engage young people in civic involvement in 1914, and JCI members worldwide have followed his lead ever since.
A Grassroots Movement with International Scope
In JCI, the action is local, but our principles and impact are global. Members understand that in a globalized world, their local actions echo across the globe. 5,000 JCI Local Organizations addressing problems in their communities are united in a global movement creating global impact.
One Year to Lead
With this principle at its core, the JCI structure offers leadership opportunities to new members each year. One year to shine. One year of impact. One year to lead.
Here are some milestones in our proud history. More history can be found on www.usjayceefoundation.org.
1920 – The United States Junior Chamber of Commerce (USJCC) was formed in St. Louis
1923 – Get Out The Vote was the first Jaycee program to receive national endorsement.
1926 – Development of aviation adopted as national project.
1927 – Jaycee Charles A. Lindbergh made the first solo flight between New York and Paris. Jaycees worked with Lindbergh to develop the U.S. Air Mail Service.
1936 – National Wildlife Federation established with guidance of USJC.
1938 – USJC name Ten Outstanding Young Men for the first time.
1939 – Safety with Light campaign gained national attention as thousands of street lights were donated to communities by Jaycees.
1944 – Junior Chamber International (JCI) formed at Pan American Congress in Mexico City.
1947 – Official approval of "Jaycee" as synonym of organization. Adoption of Jaycee Creed.
1954 – First Outstanding Young Farmer program held.
1959 – Jaycees supported statehood for Alaska. Hawaii gained statehood the following year due to Jaycee efforts.
1961 – First Governmental Affairs Leadership Seminar conducted.
1966 – Name of organization officially changed to U.S. Jaycees.
1970 – Do Something campaign sparked national interest in volunteerism. Jaycees’ cooperation with other service organizations resulted in the founding of the National Center for Voluntary Action.
1971 – More than 3,000,000 volunteer hours were provided by Jaycees to help administer 7,000,000 doses of rubella measles vaccine.
1972 – Jaycees undertook model Operation Identification program to combat burglaries and aid crime prevention efforts. Five million stickers were distributed nationally through Operation Red Ball to reduce fire fatalities. Bylaw change admitted 18-year-olds as regular members.
1984 – Bylaw change admitted women as full and regular members.
1987 – Bylaw change established membership age as 21 through 39.
1988 - First woman elected as JCI President, Ms. Jennifer C.W. Yu
1990 – Name of organization officially changed back to The U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce.
2000 – First female elected National President. Junior Chamber Center for Business Advancement develops web-based video seminar training.
2001 – Name changes to The United States Junior Chamber.
2004 – Bylaw change established membership age as 18 through 40.
For more insight on how the Junior Chamber has affected the lives of its members, the following book is recommended: A Legacy of Leadership, by John W. Clark, USJC Historian.