This year we took on a new project working with Habitot Children’s Museum. We undertook the construction of a giant gingerbread house from beginning to end. Several members donated supplies for building, participated in a day-long baking session at my house, and spent four days putting the house together at Habitot. The house was then decorated by little hands and then donated to the West Berkeley Family Shelter. The project was challenging, messy, and a lot of fun giving a way for us to put our hands to work for a good cause.


Happy holidays from all of the Orinda Juniors! We hosted our annual holiday party tonight.

Thank you all so much for the gifts you donated to The Bay Area Crisis Nursery families. The Nursery depends on outside assistance and is mostly run by volunteers. Every gift is a blessing.

We are pleased to announce Youth Ink 2020 writing contest launches on Monday, December 2, 2019!  The Youth Ink writing contest was created to support the literary arts among young people in the Orinda community, Youth Ink is open to all 6th, 7th, and 8th graders who live in Orinda or attend an Orinda school.

Entries must be a story (fiction or non-fiction), poem, or other creative writing form; presented in English, and written specifically for the contest and without teacher or parent involvement. Entries must be 750 words or less. Submissions will be evaluated on content, clarity, structure, and originality.


The writing prompt for 2020 is The Gift; however, you may write about anything you like—real or imaginary—adhere to the prompt or not! There is no limit to your imagination.

To Enter

Contest opens December 2, 2019, and closes on February 28, 2020.

Download a Youth Ink 2020 entry form.

Entries will only be accepted via email. Email your entry to with the following:

  • Completed entry form. Make sure to include all required information in your submission.
  • PDF of entry submission. We will not accept Google doc, Word doc, or any other format. The contestant name must be listed in a header on the top right corner of every page.

Once you have submitted your entry, you will receive a receipt notification from to confirm your entry was successfully submitted.


First Place $250, Second Place $125, and Third Place $75, and ten honorable mentions gift certificates. Winners will be notified by mail and receive their prizes at an Awards Ceremony in April. The ceremony is open to the public and all family and friends are invited.

Contest Sponsors

The contest is organized and run by the Orinda Junior Women’s Club, with additional financial sponsorship provided by Friends of the Orinda Library, The Intuitive Writing Project, Lamorinda Arts Council, and Orinda Community Foundation.

The Orinda Juniors had a great time gathering last night to make and assemble lovely jars of bath salts for our 2019 Holiday fundraiser!  As part of our service project in support of Warm Winter Nights, we also collected toiletries and other personal items for families in need.


One of our local philanthropies, Habitot, enlisted the Juniors to help make ‘sugar skulls’ for use at their annual Halloween party for underprivileged children. Members, both old and new, got busy and made a fun evening of it!

We had a great turn-out at our open house this fall and are pleased to welcome many new members to the Orinda Juniors.  Please welcome:

  • Charlene Stratton
  • Natalie Vansant
  • Susan Glynn
  • Roxanne Christophe
  • Kristiana Tom
  • Erin Mitchell
  • Camille Andrews
  • Preethy Kalra
  • Keri Nakamura Ouye
  • Ritu Goel
  • Kara Dille


Thank you to everyone who came out last night to meet us and learn more about the Orinda Juniors and what we do! We hope to see you at our next general meeting in October!

The Orinda Juniors celebrated the end of our membership year by coming out to support local Orinda restaurants for Orinda’s Dine Around Town event.  We’re looking forward to seeing everyone again in the fall!

Congratulations to all of the winners of the 2019 YouthInk writing contest! This year, over 40 Orinda middle school students submitted entries inspired by the writing prompt “It Matters.” We are proud to announce the winners of contest for 2019:


First Place ($250): 
Eloise Anagnost, The Girl in the Box

Second Place ($125): 
Holly Carysforth, Free?

Third Place ($75): 
Kirsten Parker, Hidden

Honorable Mention: (alphabetical order)

Mia Balonick, The Highway

Kaylin Chang, The Power of Words

Audrey Dugan, Safe

Josslyn Grover, Flying Free

Indie Lee, Onwards

Tahra Minowada, The Sound of Nothing

Jade Peng, Paper Promises

Chiara Sponzilli, Everything In This World Matters

Hazel Weiner, The Way Things Used to Be

Jialei Zhang, Playing It By Heart