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 37 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.
Membership is now closed. Membership for the Shepherd Center Junior Committee 2019-2020 year will run September 1, 2019 – June 1, 2020.
Derby Day is only successful because of the time given and hard work of all Junior Committee members. All members are asked to fulfill the requirements listed below. Please look them over and email any questions to Lolly Holland, Special Events Associate at Shepherd Center Foundation.
Why Shepherd Center Junior Committee? The Shepherd Center is such an inspiring place and there is so much amazing work being done there! As someone who was born and raised in Atlanta, I really wanted to get involved in a non-profit organization where I could be super hands-on and see a change. After discovering Junior Committee (and all of the different volunteer opportunities Shepherd offers), I felt right at home and could not wait to get started with the best of the best in this space. Through hearing speakers' stories, spending time with patients and working with other volunteers, I was able to see firsthand how incredible this place truly is. The thing that struck me most was Shepherd's passion to not only get patients healthy again, but to also help them enjoy life post-injury and find a new normal in their everyday lives through Shepherd's Rec Therapy Department.
Why Shepherd Center Junior Committee? I was looking to get involved with an organization that gave back to the community and one of my coworker/ friend recommended I come to a meeting with him and check out Shepherd Center Junior Committee. During the meeting, I was blown away by one of the patient’s story of how he ended up paralyzed from the waist down. One year ago, he had been living the exact life that I was currently living. Then one day he dove into the lake and his life was forever changed. After this he obviously went through a flurry of negative emotions, but once he started Recreation Therapy his whole outlook on his situation changed, and he realized he could still compete and play sports. Shepherd was making such a big difference in his attitude about life after his accident. After hearing this story, I knew this is an organization that I want to be a part of.
Why Shepherd Center Junior Committee? To have fun with new friends while raising money for a good cause! and of course DERBY DAY!!!!
Why Shepherd Center Junior Committee? I chose to be a part of the Shepherd Center Junior Committee because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others while having a chance to meet new people and make new friends. The patients we help are the same as the rest of us and they deserve to live the happiest and fullest lives possible. I am looking forward to a great year with SCJC!
Why Shepherd Center Junior Committee? Shortly after graduating from college in 2015, I moved back home to Atlanta to begin my professional career. I had only been back for about 3 months before one of my family friends fell off his horse while riding and suffered a severe spinal injury. He was living in Lexington at the time and was told by hospitals in Kentucky that, while he would never be able to walk again, The Shepherd Center in Atlanta was the best place to receive treatment for his injury. My first experience with Shepherd was that year when I would stop by the clinic to check in on him. I was always surprised by how high his spirits were when I would visit. There was something so strange about the whole place, nothing about it seemed like the stereotypical hospital environment. It wasn’t a place of doom and gloom but instead a community of people all working towards and hoping for the best versions of themselves. While my friend was eventually able to walk out of Shepherd not all its patients are so blessed. All of them do, however, leave Shepherd stronger than they were when they arrived, both physically and mentally. That year, while I was wandering around the halls wondering how I could become a part of this community, I found out about the Junior Committee. I went to their next meeting, joined up and found out I am no exception to the rule. While I haven’t left yet, I am certainly stronger then when I arrived and I am honored to be a part of the gracious community and boundless optimism that Shepherd fosters day in and day out.
Why Shepherd Center Junior Committee? I love the opportunity to work with some incredible individuals dedicating their time and resources to genuinely positively impact lives. Knowing that I get to help people recovering from a traumatic injury see that they can still experience all the fun and exciting things in life is priceless. On top of that, I’m always meeting new, young professionals in the Atlanta area who care about giving back as much as I do. It’s easy to want to hang out at the fun events we host to help raise money for these well-deserving humans.
Why Shepherd Center Junior Committee? I choose to be involved in Shepherd Center Junior Committee because our goal embodies the principle that people are not defined by injuries, medical conditions, or life obstacles. A person's identity and interest after an injury is just as important as their identity before an injury. The Junior Committee's support of Recreation Therapy allows for those who have faced a life altering injury or medical condition to experience life in a new way, while keeping with old passions and interests. I have learned that Shepherd Center is only a few degrees separated from any one person and I am privileged to be able to support those it has helped directly.
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.
Why Shepherd Center Junior Committee? 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.
Why Shepherd Center Junior Committee? I joined the Shepherd Center Junior Committee because I want to give back to others in Atlanta. It is so rewarding to serve individuals who are in the Recreation Therapy Program and know that they are able to directly benefit from the work that we do.
Why Shepherd Center Junior Committee? I joined Shepherd Center Junior Committee because I want to contribute to the success of the hospital. I know that every patient admitted has had a very sudden and devastating injury, which usually changes the course of their life. The services that Shepherd Center provides are so critical for physical and mental rehab and are necessary to help these people get back into society. I know that no one plans for situations like this and that it can happen to anyone. Junior Committee helps raise money for recreation therapy which I believe is crucial to patients’ confidence and future success.