JCI Hawaii began its presence in Hawaii began in 1930 with the formation of the Honolulu Junior Chamber of Commerce. Junior chamber chapters were later established in Hilo (1939), Wahiawa (1939), Maui (1941), and Kauai (1944).
Early in 1943, the Hawaii Junior Chamber of Commerce was formed with former Honolulu Junior Chamber President R. Allen Watkins as the organization's first president. Dynamic and constructive action made the junior chamber movement in Hawaii invaluable to every phase of local life, and many projects have become local institutions: the 50th State Fair, the Hawaii County Fair in Hilo, the Cherry Blossom Festival and Pageant, the Miss Chinatown Hawaii and the Narcissus Queen pageants, and Aloha Week.
In 1976 the organization officially changed its name to the Hawaii Jaycees. The Hawaii Jayceettes were established in 1979. A landmark 1984 United States Supreme Court decision finally allowed women to be formally allowed into the organization, and in 1987, Brenda Yee was elected as the first female president of the Hawaii Jaycees.
In 2018, the Hawaii Jaycees officially changed its name to JCI Hawaii to match the naming convention promoted by JCI and JCI USA.
There have been thousands of jaycee members in Hawaii over the years. Walter Dods, Ed Case, Mark Nakashima, the late Mark Takai, and Jeremy Harris have all been Hawaii Jaycees. The Hawaii Jaycees Three Outstanding Young Persons Program (TOYP) aims to recognize the best and brightest of the state's young people. Recent past winners include Shane Victorino, Tulsi Gabbard, BJ Penn, Dr. Julius Soria, Devin Nakasone, and Jan Harada. JCI Hawaii is proudly affliated with the United States Junior Chamber and Junior Chamber International.
The junior chamber movement began in 1910 with the formation of the Herculaneum Dance Club in St. Louis, Missouri led by a young man named Henry "Hy" Giessenbier. The club was formed on the basis that young people needed to band together to improve their standing both socially and professionally. In 1915, Giessenbier and other club members formed the Young Men's Progressive Civic Association to promote and affect civic matters in the area. The group in 1916 became known as the Junior Citizens or Jaycees, and in 1918 their partnership with the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce led them to officially become the St. Louis Junior Chamber of Commerce. The movement swept across the country, and in 1920, the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce was established.
The United States Junior Chamber (JCI USA) now exists for active young citizens ages 18–40, who bring energy and insight to solving problems locally and around the world. Its mission is to provide development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change in their communities. The organization's past accomplishments include establishing the Airmail Service, creating the National Wildlife Federation, founding the Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, opening Camp Discovery—a summer camp for special needs children, and building and maintaining countless public parks, playgrounds and ball fields. Today, members continue to identify the needs in our communities and strive to find sustainable solutions.
Junior Chamber International (JCI) was established in 1944 in Mexico City, and ushered the junior chamber movement across the globe. Today JCI is made up of more than 200,000 members in over 5000 local organizations in 100+ countries. It is a nonprofit organization of young active citizens age 18–40 who are engaged and committed to creating impact in their communities.
JCI gathers active citizens from all sectors of society. Active citizens are individuals invested in the future of our world, and JCI helps them develop the skills, knowledge and understanding to make informed decisions and take action. JCI members find targeted solutions to local issues benefitting our communities, our world and our future.