Preshus Howard is about to celebrate her 10th anniversary as a clubwoman, and her time with GFWC has been a journey of discovering her own strengths and how she can use them to help others. As GFWC Kentucky’s Director of Junior Clubs for the 2016-2018 Administration, Preshus has been proud to use her position to rally clubwomen around causes that matter to her.
How did you get involved with GFWC?
I was invited to join the GFWC Kentucky Barbourville Junior Woman’s Study Club in 2008 by one of my friends. I was a nervous wreck for my first meeting because I felt clueless with this new adventure. After a couple of meetings I began to get more comfortable and asked a lot of questions about Federation. I learned what this group of ladies were able to accomplish and how much time was involved with everything we do.
Which project that you’ve been involved with has been the most important to you?
Wow, this one is hard to answer because we do so many and I enjoy each and every one of them. I do feel that the project I chose as Director of Junior Clubs, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), has been rewarding and a great learning experience for me. I am amazed at how our Kentucky clubwoman have embraced the opportunity to advocate, raise funds, and be a voice with me during this time. This project and organization are very close to my heart in many ways, as my sister and fellow clubwoman Ashley Doolin was diagnosed at the age of 3 with Type 1 Diabetes. We stand together to help raise awareness for a future without T1D.
I’ve learned that if Plan A falls through, go to Plan B, and if Plan B falls, just wing it because we are not perfect at what we do and we are all learning.
How has serving in a leadership position in GFWC impacted your life?
This has been a very rewarding opportunity for me and one that I will cherish. It has taken me out of my comfort zone with more public speaking and event planning. I know now that I am more than capable of stepping into leadership roles and look forward to more opportunities. I wouldn’t change a thing except to stay in the position longer. I really hate to see this time as GFWC Kentucky Director of Junior Clubs end.
What has been the most rewarding part about being a clubwoman?
I love being given a greater opportunity to volunteer in our community and supporting the many GFWC Partners. However, I would have to say that the friendships I have made, not only in my club and Kentucky but across the United States, has been the greatest reward. These are friends I know I can depend on as Sisters in Federation when called upon.
What have you learned since serving as Kentucky’s Director of Junior Clubs?
I’ve learned that if Plan A falls through, go to Plan B, and if Plan B falls, just wing it because we are not perfect at what we do and we are all learning. I feel I am in a better position now to help educate other clubwomen about GFWC, our Partners and Programs, and how important it is for all of us to continue our work together. It truly has been a rewarding experience getting to know all of the fabulous clubwomen on a more personal level.
Volunteers in Action: GFWC Florida, Village Improvement Association of Rehoboth Beach (Delaware), GFWC Woman’s Club of Aurora (Illinois), Alamo Women’s Club (California), GFWC Arizona Benson Juniors, and Woman’s Club of West Allis (Wisconsin)
An eight-year Air Force veteran, Penny has been a GFWC member since 2008, and is currently serving as the club president of GFWC Helena Woman’s Club (Montana).
Success For Survivors Scholarship
Each year, GFWC awards scholarships to help intimate partner abuse survivors obtain a post-secondary education that offers a chance to reshape their future by securing employment and gaining personal independence.
The Rochester Junior Women's Club
The Rochester Junior Women’s Club (Michigan) was established in 1956 with 16 members, and today has over 70 members that always come together to support one another. The club chooses three or four major charities to support and several smaller ones, donating approximately $30,000 each year. In total since its inception, the club has provided more than 1 million hours of community service, and raised more than $928,000 to support their community!