Young Professionals Cultivate Community Connections
Monday, December 04, 2017
"Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flow charts. It is about one life influencing another." ~John C. Maxwell
This apt quote by Maxwell, an expert in leadership, serves as a reminder of what’s truly important in life. The ability to have a positive affect on others is one of the primary aims of the recently revamped Centerville Young Professionals (CYP) group.
Organizer Mallory Downs, who works at Honey Creek Resort, noticed a lack of activities and networking opportunities for young people in the community. She contacted the local chamber of commerce about her idea to revive an old networking group for young professionals. Her ambition was met with enthusiasm and support.
The group has been meeting for a few months. It’s a small group of about eight members but they have big ideas for future events and ways to engage with the community.
The CYP already participated in the Centerville Square beautification for the holidays. It also organized a Turkey Trot 5K walk/run in November. This free event was open to the public and featured hot chocolate for the kids. “We thought it would be something fun to do to give back to the community,” says Downs.
The group intends to offer a scholarship for graduating seniors in the future. Plans are also in the works to offer high school students mentorship opportunities to help encourage leadership and community involvement.
The CYP wants to offer a free educational speaker series for the community too. It’s recruiting local experts to speak about topics such as money management and interviewing skills.
Many of these young professionals are new to the area. Downs says members have similar reasons for getting involved. “Almost everyone has the same feeling about what they want to get out of it. They want to meet new people they can relate to and help the community grow.”
Meetings and events are kid-friendly. Downs notes that many members want to teach their children the value of communit service. Membership is free and open to people age 45 or younger.
Downs says the group is open to everyone — from factory workers to CEOs — and that people can just show up for a meeting to find out more. “We don’t want to seem stuffy or limited … All people can have good ideas to help the community.”
Meetings are typically held the first Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at City Hall. The next meeting will take place on December 7.
Downs hopes the group will help young people who may otherwise consider moving elsewhere stay entertained and create long-lasting friendships in Centerville, which will also help grow the community.
“It would be great to get a younger crowd interested in staying in the community and helping our businesses grow,” Downs says. “The idea is that if they stay, they shop local. They spend money and create a home here. This helps schools and it helps businesses.”