Civic Leader – Catherine Patterson


When did you join the Junior League?  1989

Describe some of your Junior League projects and committee work?
Most of my Junior League volunteer experiences have been in community research. I conducted needs assessments in York Region and founded and chaired the York Region Abuse Program, developing and implementing a high school education program on child sexual abuse. As the Junior League Community Action Representative, I liaised with community groups to determine opportunities for large projects. I also advised on new projects, such as the Learning Disabilities Workshop and Tiaras and Ties, mentored new members of the Junior League, and developed and presented workshops on community research. My experiences with the JLT taught me how to research needs in the community, evaluate which projects were best suited to the League and work with community organizations, I also developed leadership, organizational and project management skills.

How has the Junior League impacted your life?
Membership in the Junior League of Toronto has been a wonderful experience. It has provided me with a combination of experiences I never would have found elsewhere — meeting people in the community doing amazing work, working with talented women committed to making our community a better place, learning what needs there are in my community and having a lot of fun along the way. I learned how to deal with varied challenges and developed skills that opened doors for me to do other volunteer work in the community. Most of all, I have made life-long friends with many amazing women.

Tell us about some of your community work outside of the Junior League.
My Junior League experiences have been a key factor in opening doors for me in my volunteer career. I have been a Board member of Holy Trinity School, where I chaired the Marketing Committee and sat as a member on the Development and Head Support Committees. I was on the Board of United Way of York Region for six years, including two years as Chair, where I chaired the Nominating and Volunteer Leadership Development Committees and served as a member on the Volunteer Task Force and Strategic Planning Committees. I was also a Community & Home Assistance to Seniors (CHATS) Board member for two years, as well as President of an investment group to which I belonged. My Junior League experience helped provide me with the skills, confidence and credibility for the work I do in the community.