The mission of Junior Forum Inc. is to support member chapters in achieving their goals and promote the growth of the organization. Junior Forum Inc. is made up of nine member chapters from across the state of Texas. Although differences exist between chapters, the overall purpose of Junior Forum is to promote volunteerism among women by serving in our communities in areas related to children, families and senior adults. Each chapter organizes annual fundraisers to raise money and awareness of the needs in our local communities. Funds that are raised are distributed to local organizations that demonstrate need and fit with the mission and purpose of Junior Forum.
Junior Forum began in Houston in 1946. In postwar Houston, many young women were seeking to broaden their horizons through service work and new friendships. The stage was set for the development of Junior Forum. It began through a common bond of interest in community service and five young women met with Mrs. Roy Rountree, as their counselor, to form the Junior Department of the Women’s Forum. These five ladies, our founders, Mrs. Searcy Bracewell, Mrs. Carl B. Cooper, Mrs. Claude DeHart, Mrs. Thomas L. Royce, and Mrs. Chares C. Weige, served as the first officers. In March 1946, twenty-two young women gathered for the first meeting where Western Union blanks were used to record their first minutes.
In January 1947, the new group became an independent organization known as the Houston Junior Forum. The new group elected to work in Mexican-American communities where differences in languages and social customs cause economic hardships, and where juvenile delinquency was a prime problem. To raise funds to support their projects, the members sold newspapers and held a frontier dance. On December 17, 1947, the Houston Junior Forum Library was formally opened as our first establishment.
From that small beginning, the Forum has now grown significantly. Chapters now exist in Austin, Baytown, Dallas, Georgetown, Houston, Pasadena, San Antonio, Nacogdoches, and Cypress-Woodlands. Each group is a private, non-profit service and welfare organization composed of young women dedicated to serving the community. These women have not only given thousands of hours to service, but have also provided much needed funds for special causes. The history of this organization has a bright record of achievement, accomplished by the talented, energetic young women whose goals are to alleviate some of their community’s problems and thus help better our world.