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History

Our global organization of nearly 200,000 young active citizens grew out of the vision of one man more than 90 years ago as a constructive approach to civic problems. Henry Giessenbier, Jr. decided to take responsibility for the progress and welfare of his community by helping tackle difficult problems around him. Together with 32 other young men, Giessenbier established JCI’s first Local Organization, in St. Louis, USA, in 1915. The members of the first Local Organization dedicated themselves to bringing about community improvements and empowering young people to create positive change. By 1944, the movement had spread through eight 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. This deep-rooted tradition of bringing together active citizens from diverse backgrounds remains alive today in our international events. They fuel the JCI movement and lay the groundwork to create positive change that transcends boundaries.

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