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12th Jul, 2017

50 years ago today (12 July 2017) , Junior Chamber International (JCI) Southampton, the leading networking of young active citizens in Southampton, hosted the JCI European Conference.

Junior Chamber International (JCI) is a worldwide personal development and networking organisation for young professionals and entrepreneurs between 18 to 40 years old. With over 250,000 active members in over 100 countries, JCI provides young people with the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, social responsibility, entrepreneurship and fellowship necessary to empower them to create positive change.

JCI Southampton is the local Chamber of JCI in Southampton and is a third biggest Chamber in the UK. JCI Southampton was formed in 1959 and has had a strong base in the community since then.

Peter Creek, 1967 JCI European Conference Director and JCI Senator #7231 comments: “I can’t believe it that 50 years ago today, Southampton hosted the 1967 JCI European Conference of which I was Conference Director. It’s is good to see JCI Southampton still going strong”.

Sophie Delaporte, 2017 President comments “JCI Southampton is going from strength to strength and it’s fantastic that 50 years after a European Convention, we will be hosting the biggest event in the JCI UK calendar. It’s an exciting time for young people in Southampton to join us and get involved in a wide range of projects and develop new skills”.

JCI Southampton will be hosting in November 2017 JCI United Kingdom’s National Convention, which celebrates the 2017 achievements of members from across the UK. The National Convention is the flagship event in the JCI UK calendar and is an opportunity to meet members from across the UK and Europe.

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9th Jul, 2017

Welcoming Molly as Business and Marketing Intern - Blog Takeover
by Sophie Delaporte on July 9, 2017 20:11


Hello everyone, my name is Mengran Tian and you can call me Molly. I am very glad to work on Business and Marketing area for JCI Southampton this summer. Council team » molly.jpg
Firstly, I want to say thanks everyone for welcoming me friendly either in the office or from the chatting group, I felt very warm on my first few days of work.

I am a MSc Marketing analytics student in University of Southampton and will graduate on September and I believe my academic knowledge would help me on my work in marketing area. My studying-abroad experience trains me to meet and communicate people with various culture background and I enjoy the moment of talking with them.

The variety of projects that JCI Southampton provides, such as charity and business related events, and moreover, the self-development trainings are contributing to the community and members. The achievements community and members would receive from these projects attract and encourage me to work for JCI, because they satisfy my self-esteem of providing benefits and help toward people who need them. Additionally, by working within the marketing team, I could develop my working ability for my future career.

Looking forward to meeting you all in the following weeks. Wish we could have a good summer time.

Best wishes,

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26th Mar, 2017

Heart disease is the UK's biggest killer - accounting for 39% of all deaths.Blog » Community Projects » 10K first run.jpg

This year, JCI UK is launching the Good Heart Project. In partnership with the British Heart Foundation - their chosen charity of the year, JCI UK will be promoting good physical health through adopting healthy eating lifestyles, reducing cholesterol intake and increasing exercise. This will also be our national contribution towards fulfilling the United Nations Sustainable development Goal SDG #3 in promoting good health and wellbeing.

In line with JCI UK's plan of action, we at JCI Southampton have chosen to support Wessex Heartbeat as our charity of the year. Wessex Heartbeat helps achieve the very best care for people with heart conditions treated in the Wessex Cardiac Centre and provides support to the babies, children, adults and their loved ones treated at the Wessex Cardiac Centre at Southampton General Hospital.

To accompany this project, Jaycees from all over the UK will be participating in a 10K run on Sunday 23 April 2017. South Chambers including Southampton will be running the ABP 10K race while North Chambers will be running the Bolton race.

To find out more about our charity Wessex Heartbeat, our Good Heart Project, or our community actions; please email Amy, our 2017 Community Director at

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9th Mar, 2017

JCI Southampton launches "Being a Young Leader" Training Programme, a series of training sessions to develop young people to be outstanding leaders.

Each session will cover a specific skill that you will need to master to become a great leader.

Training sessions will be monthly and will last about two hours and will cover theories as well as practical modules and activities to get you to where you want to be in leadership.

At the end of the training programme, participants will be able to:

  • Know the difference between leadership and management
  • Motivate and empower their team
  • Practice essential skills for good leadership, from coaching, good disagreement, delegation and much more.

First Event: Thursday 16 March. Management vs. Leadership with Marcus Orlovsky

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Join us for a fantastic talk by Marcus Orlosvky, Change Agent, TEDx Conference Speaker, Workshop Leader, Thought Provoker, on Leadership vs. Management.

Marcus is passionate about creating better opportunities for young people and transforming aspirations and achievement, largely driven by challenges he has had to overcome in his own life. This led to him founding Bryanston Square, bringing together a team of dedicated individuals to assist in bidding for highly competitive public procurement school projects.

From addressing 300 Yr 11 students, 900 Googlers or 1,200 TEDxers, Marcus has an engaging and thought provoking style of delivery, which inspires audiences to grasp opportunities and take on the impossible.

Find out more about Marcus here

REGISTER NOW HERE (free for JCI members).

How to find out more about the programme

Please contact JCI Southampton 2017 Training Director at

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26th Aug, 2016

I Took a Leap and I Liked It!
by Celestine Onomo on August 26, 2016 14:02


I took a Leap and I liked it…

A year ago, I graduated from Leap and immediately emailed the 2016 COC Director to let him know that I wanted to get involved in the next year’s programme.  This was an important goal for me in 2016 and I am so pleased to look back and realise that I did it.

Moving from delegate to trainer, I have managed to learn more about myself and others. I was able to reinforce some of the outcomes from the year before and realise some new ones. Last year, I was a Local Director  and this year I’m President and over the past year the skills I gained during LEAP 2015 have come in  handy during a very busy and challenging year.

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Photo credit: Neal Stirk

From receiving advice to giving advice: I realised that I have a lot to offer to others and vice versa. One of the best moments was when I saw our ex Intern Ruthie, who took part in the academy, and realised how much she had gained and learnt by our side.

Taking me out  of my comfort zone (again), I delivered two training sessions with advanced trainers (thanks for your patience guys!), led the icebreakers as well as a team exercise. This really was an experience like no other. Why? Because it feels incredibly good to share your knowledge and experience with others and see how different delegates learn from each other.

It is such a positive and empowering experience to be listened to for what you know and to be congratulated for what you’ve achieved, even when you didn’t realise how well you have done!

And finally, to see how our great delegates have changed across the weekend.

Don't be scared to challenge yourself, it feels just good. I have enjoyed every minute of it and I can see my desire for training is also growing. This is definitely an outcome I didn’t see coming as it was not one of my main reasons for joining JCI.  But it is definitely one that will make me stay(until I’m too old for the J in JCI ).


Want to know more about LEAP? I guess I will see you next year because what happens on LEAP stays on leap.

Célestine, a great trainer to be.

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13th Jul, 2016

★ An Intensive Month in the Life of a Local President! ★

Three weeks, five countries: From Southampton to London, London to Helsinki, Helsinki to Tallinn, Tallinn to Helsinki, Helsinki to Tampere, Tampere to Helsinki, Helsinki to London, London to Southampton, Southampton to Dover, Dover to Calais, Calais to Kortrijk, Kortrijk to Calais, Calais to Dover, Dover to Southampton, Southampton to London, London to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to London and London to Southampton. 

Independence Day celebration at US Embassy:

I’ve written previously about the great opportunity you get by being a member of JCI. This is one perfect other example. I’ve been recently invited to attend the 240th Celebration of US Independence Day at US Embassy in London.

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This event is a one of chance given to me by the YLUK program that I’ve joined thanks to JCI. That night, they expected around 3,000 people. I attended the event with Max K-Thompson, 2016 JCI Southampton Immediate Past President. A pleasant surprise, among the 3,000 people we managed to find familiar faces from JCI London Epi and Immaculate. This shows howour organisation creates opportunity. The Garden Party way available only to restricted guests with invitations and we still manage to meet fellow Jaycees. 

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As member of JCI, we want to create tomorrow leaders and what a best way for leader to become better leaders than meeting leaders like the American Ambassador.

Ambassador Barzun speech was very inspirational; he is really approachable and dedicated to give people opportunity like the one we had to attend this event. We will miss you once you leave Winfield House.

The event was very rich with the traditional British and American anthems, performers such as Bastille, and the best of America’s food. Everything you can think of, unlimited. Max, Immac, Epi & I enjoyed America finest food.

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We’ve met with American soldiers and learnt more about their life to. I felt really privileged and proud to be amongst this chosen crowd and represent again JCI colours.

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12th Jul, 2016

★ An Intensive Month in the Life of a Local President! ★

Three weeks, five countries: From Southampton to London, London to Helsinki, Helsinki to Tallinn, Tallinn to Helsinki, Helsinki to Tampere, Tampere to Helsinki, Helsinki to London, London to Southampton, Southampton to Dover, Dover to Calais, Calais to Kortrijk, Kortrijk to Calais, Calais to Dover, Dover to Southampton, Southampton to London, London to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to London and London to Southampton. 

JCI Twinning weekend with JCI Kortrijk in Belgium: 24/25 June

Our twins are awesome. I mean really awesome.

I didn't talk about the twinning agreement when I mentioned the European Confenrence but as I've said previously, that Saturday was for me the best day of the conference.

Over the last 3 years,  JCI Kortrijk and JCI Southampton have been building relationships and our great International Directors and International committees have helped us to achieve this agreement on Saturday 18th June 2016. Thank you to Sophie, Bruno, Bert, Pol, Alex, Michael, Alice, Drew and all the others for making this happen!

Another early day ahead for us, but we are up for a great time with our recent twins.

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Couple of months ago, we’d agreed with Kortrijk Chamber that we will attend their garden party and celebrate our twinning at the same time. We quickly forgot about the time and looked forward to a great adventure. 5 hours, and a car and ferry ride later and we've travelled through France, making our way to beautiful Kortrijk.

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Our twins have organised it perfectly. Bruno, JCI Kortrijk President at the time, welcomes us.  After a tour of the city, we head back to the hotel to  ready for a Great Jaycees Garden Party. Carl, Bruno, Sophie and myself arrived at the venue, again: another perfect place. We meet with JCI Kortrijk members and the only thing I can think of is how all these people are lovely, welcoming, and good fun. Putting names to faces, chatting with them... this promises to be a great evening!

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The dinner was lovely, the party perfected by a surprise Charleston dance lesson and an Ice cream stand. We’ve mingled with everyone, had some good food, thrown some great dance moves, had plenty of drinks, learnt more about the birth of our twinning and got invited to a wedding.

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Thanks to all for this short but intense weekend and, like we say in French, “On prend les mêmes et on recommence” which means we take the same ones and we start again. Looking forward to attending Pol & Stefanie’s weeding in September and celebrate Jaycees way.

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11th Jul, 2016

★ An Intensive Month in the Life of a Local President! ★

Three weeks, five countries: From Southampton to London, London to Helsinki, Helsinki to Tallinn, Tallinn to Helsinki, Helsinki to Tampere, Tampere to Helsinki, Helsinki to London, London to Southampton, Southampton to Dover, Dover to Calais, Calais to Kortrijk, Kortrijk to Calais, Calais to Dover, Dover to Southampton, Southampton to London, London to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to London and London to Southampton. 

JCI European Convention in Finland and Day visit in Estonia:

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My journey started Saturday 11 June, early morning. Destination: Helsinki, for a pretour of Finland with my dear friend Katja before the European Convention! I couldn’t have wished for better place to stay with someone with such a big heart! Katja made my first days in Finland a memorable experience; as she said “You are building memories that you will tell your grand-children”. The first night was a success: sky bar, city walk, karaoke duet with strangers, a girl squad for this is Finland and I’m loving it! I still don’t get the whole daylight situation though, you wake up in the middle of the night and it seems like it’s 4:00pm.

A few members from Scotland arrived early too so I had the chance to join Leslie and Jasmin for a day trip to Tallinn in Estonia after a pleasant afternoon in Suomelinna watching a military band play.

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Time flies when you are in good company and I had to get ready to leave Espoo (near Helsinki) on the Tuesday. I headed straight to Tampere, sorted out my registration for the EC, checked in.... now let’s wait for everyone to arrive and do some work.

Because JCI means challenge, this year (following a suggestion from my JCI Mentor Ben Hawley) we’ve decided to enter the first JCI UK Debating team in French. I’ve spent a good part of the European Convention getting ready for this with my fellow frogs Rafael & Sophie but it was worth every minute we’ve put it in. Wednesday 15th: Opening Ceremony. It’s amazing to be able to witness the energy in this room. I was incredibly proud of the familiar faces I saw on the stage, particularly Sarah.

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JCI European Convention was very well organised, with day programs and evening parties. I really enjoyed representing the UK in the debating competition. We’ve taken a challenge and worked hard to make it happen. Seeing some members of our delegation who don’t understand French but who showed their support during the whole competition was priceless: Lindsey, Henry, Charlotte, Melissa, Neal, Michael you guys are amazing!! Your support has helped us more than you can imagine.

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Saturday night was probably the best moment! We are the United Kingdom and that spirit of people being united was around our two tables. We didn't win the Debating Competition, but we are still vice champion of French debating in Europe as first timers and people who don’t speak French on a daily basis. This was a great achievement as a team and as individuals.  Soon after the results announcement came the awards. Well done UK, we came back with 3! Well done JCI Manchester, first to go on stage and JCI London. Until the Saturday morning, I almost forgot that I was running for an award. Or maybe I just tried not to think too much about it, fearing disappointment. On stage, Kaspar (our Vice President for Europe that I met the September before for a project in Malta) and Joanna are announcing the list of people shortlisted, the third person is announced and there’s no sign of me.. I thought never mind that means they were better than I was which was fine with me but.. it actually took 3 seconds of disappointment and 1 second of hope when I actually realised that I was the 4th person shortlisted. From then, all I could hear was excitement in the screams from the UK table and then it happened. They just said my name... I’ve just been elected Most Outstanding New Member in Europe, surrounded by some of my really good friends and the whole delegation. Feeling like déjà vu times 100, people are applauding me, and I will never forget the first hug (of many that night) given to my friend and going on stage with Sarah and last but not least being pushed by Michael (I really mean being pushed..... then forced to run with my 10cm heels, only he can do this...). Walking on stage in front of 2,000 people is a unique experience and a mix of multiple emotions all happening at the same time.  Thanks Michael & Sarah for walking (and running) there by my side, and the Tampere guys for avoiding a fall.  Thank you to the people who’ve acknowledge my work too, who came to talk to me, spent time getting to know me.. I have never given so much hugs in one evening.

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So you’ve guessed it, I’m actually the third one being awarded tonight. This reward, although being an individual one, is definitely a victory for the whole chamber and the UK. Being self driven is not enough to win; you have to be inspired by people to commit to change and that’s why I thank everyone who’s been an inspiration: family, mentors, friends, JCI members.

Good news is, I have won a free registration to Quebec. Not so good news is I did not plan to go so I hope I can make it. It would be an honour to see my chamber’s name on screen in front of thousands and thousands of people, JCI United Kingdom and my name.

To everyone wondering what you can get from JCI, my answer is that JCI is the place where you can better yourself and make a significant impact in your local community whilst having fun with awesome, like-minded people and be a future leader meeting leaders.. Follow blog number 3 and 4 for more about my crazy month!

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10th Jul, 2016

★ An Intensive Month in the Life of a Local President! ★

Three weeks, five countries: From Southampton to London, London to Helsinki, Helsinki to Tallinn, Tallinn to Helsinki, Helsinki to Tampere, Tampere to Helsinki, Helsinki to London, London to Southampton, Southampton to Dover, Dover to Calais, Calais to Kortrijk, Kortrijk to Calais, Calais to Dover, Dover to Southampton, Southampton to London, London to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to London and London to Southampton. 

National Training Team

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Another weekend, another great JCI UK Academy. Once again, we were able to send a strong delegation from JCI Southampton to this training: 5 members, 1 car and a lot of fun, starting from the early morning.

This course aim is to help JCI Members to become better trainers. Across the weekend, we picked up a lot about things such as different learning styles and how to create a training. NTT was a great example of how all the academies are linked and integrated with each other. For example, in May you can attend the Public Speaking Academy to improve your public speaking skills, and in June, you have the chance to practice what you’ve learnt during the PSA by working on the creation and the delivery of a course.

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I’ve learnt a lot more about both myself and others, which is what you would expect from this kind of course, and so from this end, NTT has fully fulfilled its course objectives.

Why should you attend this course? Some people are naturally good at delivering content, but this course enable you to understand that when you deliver a presentation, training or any other type of content that is meant to educate people it’s not about you but your audience. Who’s the audience in the room and what is the best way of communicating your key points?  For less than £100 we had the chance to get answers to these questions and more over the two full days and one evening course. What’s more, the accomodation is included. It would be a shame to miss it!

Aside from the training aspect, there is always one other great thing about these academies: the social side. Going to these acadamies gives you the opportunity to meet new people and catch up with people you’ve met across the country or even the world. I’m always happy to get to these academies because for me, they empower me with a lot of positive energy, laughs and fun.

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I’ve completed a circle, I’ve attended all the JCI UK academies that I needed to attend (I did not attend the Marketing Academy as a participant, but as a trainer since it’s been my job for the last 5 years) and it’s now time for me to train others in the academies where I attended as a participant 1 year ago. LEAP 2016, here I come!

Thanks Emma, Martin, and Sarah for delivering the training, and James for the smooth organisation. I loved it!

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24th Apr, 2016

What it means to me to “Choose extraordinary”
by Celestine Onomo on April 24, 2016 20:24


Everyone who has joined JCI did it for a specific reason and everyone who has been in the organisation probably stayed for others.

I personally joined JCI because I wanted to make new connections within the city and extend some of my marketing skills. I stayed in JCI because I realise that there is more to learn that I could have imagine and that I actually love to learn.

JCI will connect not only people but also organisations. We were last year approached by the American Embassy to join a program they have created. At first, my reaction was to think that it is another commitment, that I won’t have time for it and then I remembered that opportunity rarely knock at the door, you have to create them.

I decided to apply for the program and was successful after a few days. The program aims to reinforce the link between the young leaders in the UK and the American government giving you access to monthly invitations to attend virtual talks or physical events.

 Now, have you ever seen on TV or looked at pictures in the news and thought how do ordinary people attend ‘’THESE” events? I have an answer, maybe not the only one but one. These people choose to push their boundaries, they choose a life where they are not scared by the unknown, they are not scared by the lack of sleep, they are scared of what they could be missing by not seizing an opportunity. That for me is my definition of “Choose extraordinary”, our 2016 National Theme.

On Thursday 14/04/2016, I received an email from the American Embassy, inviting me to attend President Barack Obama speech in London Saturday 23rd April 2016. Yes, that’s right, the American ambassador wrote an email to invite me (and program participant) to meet with “POTUS”.

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Due to the high demand, a ballot system was organised and I was placed on the waiting list. I can fairly said that I was not bothered to be on the waiting list but I was honoured and proud. I have the privilege to be part of an organisation that is well recognise in the world and that give me the opportunity to meet Barack Obama. How many of us can actually say it? I was part of the 500 members onwards in the UK who have been given the chance to receive an email offering me the possibility to attend Barack Obama speech in London. If I didn’t realise straight away how amazing this opportunity was, the faces and the reactions among the people I decided to tell reminded me how “uncasual this is”. One of my favourite was “ Now, I wish I had joined the program”.

What I’ve learnt and that I would like to share with you is to make sure you don’t live with regrets, don’t miss out on an opportunity to choose an extraordinary path because you are afraid you won’t be able to commit or you won’t have time. If an opportunity arises, you will find a way to make time for it.

Joining a group of young professionals such as JCI is like planting seeds and waiting for it to grow. Opportunities like meeting the President of the United States of America don’t happened by coincidence, I had to plant my opportunity by joining JCI and joining the US Embassy program and I just waited for it to grow and seized the opportunity to meet him.

Célestine, 2016 Local President

If you have any questions about JCI please do get in touch with me

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