The other evening, I had the privilege of attending the kickoff event for the newly launched Baltimore chapter of Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN). I wasn’t surprised to see familiar faces from other AmeriCorps programs there, looking to continue a career in nonprofits. I did, however, also enjoy hearing a number of new voices contributing to the discussion, in careers ranging from the police department to a for-profit bank.
YNPN serves as a resource for a new generation entering the nonprofit realm, giving people the opportunity to share ideas, find mentors, and become leaders. Interestingly, in the panel discussion that took place, the two themes that emerged for me was the dynamic change that will come as a new generation moves into this field, and how to find guidance and mentorship from older, more established people in the nonprofit field. The idea is that one does not conflict with the other, and that the best growth comes from these working together. Those were two themes that I have heard before, but never thought of in conjunction before.
It is always valuable to get a new perspective, to hear new voices, on the issues we face. The evening’s discussions inspired me to examine my actions- to make sure I was doing the best I could to, and not just sticking to comfortable habits during my year of service. We should never be afraid to critically reexamine things, when it comes to how we serve and how we give ourselves room to grow as leaders. I am already looking forward to what more events the Baltimore chapter of YNPN will host, and what new ideas will come!