Jaycee Vision and History
The U.S. Junior Chamber founder Henry Giessenbier’s vision of providing young people with leadership through community service can be broken down into four Areas of Opportunity: Business, Individual, Community, and International.
- Business: embodying the line of the Jaycee Creed, which states “Economic justice can best be won by free men through free enterprise,” this area provides an opportunity for individual members to contribute to the development and enhancement of the economic infrastructure, prosperity, and well-being for their community as well as all nations.
- Individual: embodying the line of the Jaycee Creed which states “Earth’s great treasure lies in human personality,” this area provides an opportunity for individual members to realize their personal potential through training programs.
- Community: embodying the line of the Jaycee Creed which states “Service to humanity is the best work of life,” this area develops the sensitivity of individual members to societal problems and community dynamics by providing experience in community problem solving.
- International: embodying the line of the Jaycee Creed which states “That the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations,” this area provides an opportunity for individual members to contribute to the development of goodwill, understanding, and cooperation among all peoples.
The Junior Chamber organization is: “a constructive action organization of young persons who devote a portion of their time to community service in the public interest, developing young persons as leaders in their communities.” (Taken from The U.S. Junior Chamber Bylaws Manual.)
The purpose of the Junior Chamber is: “to promote and foster the growth and development of young persons’ civic organizations in the United States, designed to inculcate (to teach and impress upon) in the individual membership of such organization a spirit of genuine Americanism and civic interest, and…to provide them with opportunity for personal development and achievement and an avenue for intelligent participation…in the affairs of the community, state, and nation, and to develop true friendship and understanding among young persons of all nations.” (Taken from The U.S. Junior Chamber Bylaws Manual.)
Simply put, the purpose of the local chapter is to become a force for good in the community, determining community needs and providing solutions by planning and facilitating community service projects. In the act of serving, members receive hands-on experience, which translates to the enhancement of personal growth and the development of valuable leadership skills. This is the total Junior Chamber Concept.
Henry “Hy” Giessenbier visualized an organization that would allow young men to develop their business skills and reputations in the community. In his era, most young men were out of school and working by the age of 15. Their first jobs were most likely the jobs they held throughout their lives. With luck and hard work, some might reach executive positions by their forties. Giessenbier felt that young men were not receiving the opportunities necessary to develop their skills at a younger age, thus depriving our nation of an important resource, and so he formed the founding ideals of the U.S. Junior Chamber.