Well we are now in the final leg of the marathon that has been 2020. As I look back on all that the members of JCI Michigan have overcome and handled this year, I am truly in awe.
335 days ago, we started off the Be The One year with grand plans, high hopes and the energy to take anything that was thrown our way. I do not think that anyone could have expected that 2020 would throw so much and such big obstacles in our path.
But we all did what Jaycees do: we overcame; we adapted; and, we succeeded, in new and creative ways.
Though 2020 may have been the hardest year in your Jaycee career, you are stronger from it. Members were able to try new things that would have never have been considered in a “normal” year. Some of those ideas did not go as well as we hoped (5 weekends of virtual Boyne for example). But, we learned from our missteps, grew as leaders and took those lessons to heart when trying the next new idea.
Many of the new ideas were great successes — the virtual events that chapters have been holding for the past 9 months have been amazing. Seeing members from across the state get to know each other though these events has been one of the highlights of my year as president. I know that those friendships and partnerships will make JCI Michigan, and our members, stronger for years to come.
I want to especially send a heartfelt thank you to each and every local president. As leaders in this organization, we are given “1 year to lead”, and you were all shortchanged this year. I know you had big, amazing plans for your chapters this year and many of those plans had to be scrapped. Parades, community events, annual fundraisers, and countless other “Legacy Projects” were canceled. It is ok to be sad and it is ok to be frustrated about that; but what I want you ALL to know is that you have become better and stronger leaders because of what you went through this year. It has TRULY been an honor to serve with you as “Pandemic Presidents” this year!
To each and every member and alumni, THANK YOU. Thank you for giving me the honor to serve as your 96th president. Thank you for your strength in the hard times, your joy in the times we succeeded and most importantly your friendship. 2020 has been a heck of a year but we all made it through because we are a Jaycee family.
Have a wonderful and safe holiday season. Continue to do all the amazing things you have done this year and I hope to see you all in person sometime in 2021!
Yours in Service,
Sarah K. Austin
96th President JCI Michigan