Chartered in 1983 as a fundraising and support organization for shepherd center, the junior committee plans year-round for derby day.
The Junior Committee is a group of approximately 200 Atlanta young professionals dedicated to raising money and awareness for Shepherd Center, one of the nation’s premiere catastrophic care hospitals. Shepherd Center primarily treats patients with spinal injuries, acquired brain injuries, and diseases of the nervous system. Junior Committee members join to help raise money for the Center, have fun, and meet other young professionals interested in giving back to their community.
Hosted by Shepherd Center's Junior Committee, Derby Day raises funds to support Recreation Therapy Program for patients with catastrophic injuries and neurological diseases, as well as programs for people with disabilities in the community. Over the past 38 years, the Junior Committee has donated nearly $4.7 million to Shepherd Center’s Recreation Therapy Program as a result of its fundraising efforts through Derby Day. The Junior Committee is committed to improving the lives of people with disabilities by enabling Shepherd Center to offer one of the most dynamic and comprehensive TR programs in the country, including athletics teams, outdoor activities, cultural arts, social gatherings (such as helping patients learn to attend movies and major sporting events). The Committee’s work is doubly important because most activities are not covered by patients’ insurance policies.
With the prevalance of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on in-person gatherings, we recognize the need for a modified year of Junior Committee. Since the end to these restrictions is still so unknown, we will not be hosting in person meetings, socials, or events for the 2021 membership year.
While we hope to be able to celebrate Derby Day on May 1, we respect the importance of exercising caution and putting the safety of our guests, patients, and families at the forefront of our decision. A decision on the 2021 Derby Day event will be made in January 2021 and communicated to all of you.
Because of these challenges, your Co-Chairs, John Kiser & Ben Rickles, along with the Executive Board, have decided to alter the format of the 2021 Junior Committee. There will not be any official membership, and we will not be charging dues. Instead, we encourage you to follow our social media (Facebook - Shepherd Center Junior Committee; Instagram - @scjrcommittee) for updates on Shepherd Center and how you can make a difference.
There will be various engagement opportunities throughout the year, which we will post on social media. We will also send email notifications to everyone that was a member of the 2020 Junior Committee. If you would like to be added to our email list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will notify our email list and social media if any additional engagement platforms are utilized.
We are grateful for your flexibility in this time, and look forward to connecting with you soon!
Why Shepherd Center Junior Committee? Aside from being extremely important to my family, Shepherd Center offers much-needed help for life changing events. Shepherd Center goes beyond the physical damage and seeks to restore the mental pain. The Junior Committee is dedicated to bringing peace of mind to patients and that's something I want to be a part of.
For the past four years, it has been my greatest pleasure to be a member of Shepherd Center Junior Committee. We create a direct impact on the lives of people with disabilities by raising funds for Shepherd Center’s unrivaled Recreation Therapy Program and helping patients get back to their “new normal” with athletics, outdoor activities and social gatherings. What’s even more special is you have the chance to take part in volunteer outings with Shepherd patients and see the incredible work that motivates us firsthand! I truly believe SCJC is the best and most fun way for young professionals to give back to their community and make great new friends along the way. I look forward to an incredible 2019-2020 year!
Living an active lifestyle has always been important to me. Through activities, I have developed strong mental and physical health, lasting friendships and discipline. Shepherd Center’s Recreation Therapy program encourages patients to develop similar strength and confidence. I am grateful to be a part of an organization that positively impacts the wellness of others through physical activity and community reintegration.
The Shepherd Center Junior Committee is a great opportunity to give back to the community and connect with others. As a native Atlantan, the Junior Committee helped me rediscover my city after college and meet so many amazing people. However, what I truly loved about being involved with the Junior Committee was hearing patient stories, volunteering at events, and knowing that my involvement created a direct impact on others' lives. I have studied studio arts and my life has been indisputably enhanced by my ability to create art. So many people enjoy recreational activities, but unfortunately the cost to re-learn these precious skills is not often covered by insurance in the wake of catastrophic injury. It's so rewarding to know that the Recreation Therapy Program helps others get back to their new normal and enjoy the activities that provide so much enrichment to their lives.
Why Shepherd? Oh boy, why not Shepherd! I started volunteering at the Shepherd Center 10 years ago, when I was in 8th grade, assisting with the canine recreational therapy program. When you step foot in the Shepherd Center you can feel the difference being made. I fell in love with the recreational therapy program, as I believe it is emblematic of what truly sets Shepherds apart from other medical facilities. Helping someone feel whole again takes more than just medicine and incredible doctors, but rather a passionate staff and a supportive community. It is that passion and opportunity to make a difference that truly makes me so grateful to be a part of this organization and support their mission.
I was invited to a happy hour for Shepherd Center Junior Committee and figured might as well go. My company recently raised money for Shepherd Center and I was curious about how to get involved. Each meeting struck a chord as we heard from patients whose catastrophic injuries changed their lives forever. The Recreation Therapy Program gives patients the chance to find independence in their new normal. Not only is SCJC a fun and different way to meet young professionals around Atlanta, but it also changes lives and makes a huge impact for this incredible cause!
The Shepherd Center provides its patients opportunities to "learn a new normal." Norms are developed through physical therapy, Recreational Therapy outings, and community interactions. These experiences help patients regain not only physical strength but also the confidence to take on life's next challenge. The Junior Committee provides members unique opportunities to foster new friendships and help patients with their journeys towards learning a new normal.
Why Shepherd Center Junior Committee? To have fun with new friends while raising money for a good cause! and of course DERBY DAY!!!!
Recreation therapy is imperative for patients as they recover from a severe injury. Not only are there great physical benefits, but it can tremendously boost self-confidence and increase social interaction, which are also critical in healing and discovering new ways to enjoy all that life has to offer!
The Shepherd Center is the most impactful and inspiring organization of which I have been a part. Working at Shepherd as a Locomotor Tech while I was earning my undergrad degree, I saw first hand the difference physical exercise, support and encouragement could have on people's lives. I am so excited to give back to recreation therapy this year, doing what we can to get patients back to their "new normal," and having some fun along the way!
I joined the Shepherd Center Junior Committee because I wanted to find a meaningful way to give back to others in my community. It is so rewarding to be apart of the Shepherd Center Community and to think that the Recreation Therapy Program is able to directly benefit from the work that we do. I am very proud to be apart of this group.
I grew up playing football and had a neck injury. In that moment I realized how close athletes, and really anyone else, are to experiencing a life changing moment due to a brain or spinal injury. I do not think people should live fearful of what might or may happen but we should be prepared to deal with challenges when we face them. This is why I choose to support Shepherd Center. We support those who are going through some of the most challenging unexpected moments they may ever face. They may not be prepared for the challenges ahead but Shepherd Center is available to provide the necessary support and expert guidance along the way.