The origin of Junior Chamber international (JCI)can be traced as far as almost a century ago in 1915 to the city of St. Louis, Missouri, USA, where a young man named Henry Giessenbier together with 32 other young men, established the Young Men’s Progressive Civic Association (YMPCA), JCI’s first local organization. YMPCA grew to a membership of 750 in less than five months. The association went on to dedicate itself to bringing about civic improvements and giving young people a constructive approach to civic problems.
The very next year, 1916, saw a name change as the YMPCA became “Junior Citizens,” Commonly called “JCs,” which later became “Jaycees.” Their work so impressed the St. Louis Junior chamber of Commerce that they asked these young men in 1918 to adopt the name “Junior Chamber of Commerce” which later became “Junior Chamber”.
By 1944, the movement had spread through 18 countries. When delegates from these countries met in Mexico City at the Inter-American Conference that year, they agreed it was time to officially form Junior Chamber International Junior Chamber welcome people of any race, color, sex, religion between the age of 18-40 years old.
1914: JCI founder Henry Giessenbier with some of his associates.