Q&A: Junior League of Lafayette's President is geared up for the year ahead!
In advance of next month’s first General Membership Meeting of the League year, I spoke with Roya Boustany, our President, to discuss what we can expect from leadership this year!
Your theme for this year is Women Powered. Mission Driven. What's the inspiration behind that phrase?
While at a Junior League conference last year, I sat with the President of the New York Junior League who handed me her business card. I instantly felt rushed with emotions as I read the back of her card inscribed with our theme. I even told Monica Zuschlag and Nicole Street, “This is it. This is my theme.”
Those four words – Women Powered. Mission Driven. – put into a theme how I FELT about my journey in the League and our journey as Junior League of Lafayette. I would love to tell you I was the genius behind the theme, but when I SAW those words written out it felt magnetic for me.
Fun fact: the New York Junior League was the first established Junior League. Founded in 1901, the New York Junior League was originally named the “Junior League for the Promotion of the Settlement Movement.”
What is your biggest goal you hope to accomplish in your Presidential year?
I hope to get Touch-a-Truck off and running, to encourage our Members to feel excited and engaged to keep doing this important work, and to create and adopt a new three-year strategic plan!
Tell us a bit about you!
I was born and raised here in Lafayette. I went away for law school and came straight back here to start building my life with my then fiancé, now husband, Alfred. We’ve been together since the ripe young age of 18. I have three babies who take up all my time that isn’t Junior League or my paying job as a felony prosecutor. I love fashion, Christmas, and camping (but not in a tent)!
Describe yourself in 5 words.
Collaborative, empathetic, adaptable, loyal, and FUN!
How long have you been a Member and why did you choose to join and eventually serve in leadership?
In 2013, I joined the League with one of my best friends and roommates from law school, Margo Dugas. We both wanted organized volunteering and opportunities to meet new people. I wanted to be President since I went to the first Annual Meeting when I was a Provisional Member. I heard Alison Howard and Shannon Dartez’s presidential speeches, and they were truly incredible. I thought if the Mission does what it says and creates women leaders, then I wanted to be the one at the top. Women often shy away from saying they want to be in charge or a leader. Junior League teaches us that not only is it okay to have a seat at the leadership table, but that you can be the one running the table.
What is your favorite aspect of the League?
There is something for everyone! Last year, a Member described the Junior League as a safe place to fail. I think about that statement a lot. The League is a safe place to fail, but more importantly it’s an incredible place to soar. There are so many empowered women in this organization who will help you soar and develop skills beyond your wildest dreams. I never believed I had it in me to run for public office at 35 last year, but Junior League knew I could. The women in the League gave me the courage and empowered me to know that not only could I do it, but I would do it better than it had ever been done before because I was trained to do it.
This year is the 30th anniversary of Tinsel & Treasures. What is your most cherished T&T memory?
My mom and sister come with me to Tinsel & Treasures every year on Friday, but I have two favorite memories. The first is the year I was pregnant with my son, Ace. We had such a great time, we bought so many cute outfits and had the best time that day. The second memory is from Children’s Event this past year. I had all three kids with me, and they had the best time playing. Junior League makes magic, and I don’t think we realize it sometimes.
Since my first year in the League, I have generally scheduled my shifts each day of the market so that I had an excuse to go to T&T. It is my favorite event in Lafayette, and really starts my holiday season off.
Why is Junior League of Lafayette important to you?
Junior League has become such an integral part of my life. It has given me some of my best friends and allowed me a way to continue making friends. It has created a space for me to be who I am, and a way to help be a part of something bigger than my bubble. It has also shown me that despite what others may think, one woman can make a difference in her community. Seventeen women can create a tidal wave of impact and leave a legacy that my daughter will not only feel but want to be a part of.
Buckle in and gear up for another great year with the League!