A Guide to Thursday’s “Get Involved” Happy Hour – From a Philly Transplant
By Danny Offenbacher
In late 2013, I was a fresh Philly transplant from the sprawling suburbs of Detroit. I packed up and moved across the country for one main reason: an adventure. (I know: How cliché.) I always get the question “Why Philly? What’s so great about cheesesteaks anyway?” I didn’t move here for the cheesesteaks (although I’m sure people do and that’s cool too). The city drew me in – the culture, the history, the personality, and being a big city while still feeling homey. Folks keep it real and truly care about their city and it’s refreshing.
When I arrived, I immersed myself in community organizations while hunting for a job. YIP sounded like a great place to start, considering I’m young, involved and live in Philadelphia. A little over a year ago, there was a monthly YIP run club event during a week of sub-zero degree temperatures. I forced myself to go out and run with strangers despite the cold, and it quite literally changed my life. While running, I made a few acquaintances that I talk to on a fairly regular basis – it’s hard not to make YIP friends! Afterwards while networking at a bar in Old City, I struck up conversation with a guy who helped get my foot in the door at the company he works for…and the company I now work for. That’s right. YIP helped me get a professional job while in athletic shorts in 9 degrees drinking brewskis.
It may be Antarctica outside, but not even the blustery Polar Vortex can halt a mid-week YIP event. This Thursday, join YIP at the newly launched City Tap House Logan Square from 5:30-7:30 p.m. If you’re new in town or looking to get more involved in your community, this event is a chance to learn more about what’s happening in Philly and how you can get plugged in. Ticket price is $10 and includes your first drink (beer or wine). You won’t regret it!
A Note about Thursday’s Flash Talks:
Scattered throughout the 2-hour event will be a call for anyone to present their project, upcoming event, or organization with the YIP group. Each person or group will be given 1 minute to introduce and pitch their organization/event to the crowd. After 10 minutes, networking and socializing will resume! Sign-up when you check-in to participate
Organizations Representing on Thursday
And, finally, here is a list of our partners who will be showcased at the event and ways that you can get involved. Each of these organizations will be present on Thursday so stop by and say hello!
Academy of Vocal Arts Young Professionals
The mission of the Academy of Vocal Arts is to be the world’s premier institution for training young artists as international opera soloists. Through rigorous instruction and coaching, and by presentations of Resident Artists from around the world in concerts, oratorios, public programs and fully staged professional opera productions, the Academy will train artists with the high potential for career success while enriching lives in Philadelphia and beyond.
Back On My Feet
Back on My Feet is a non-profit creating independence and self-sufficiency within homeless populations in 11 cities nationwide by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem.
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Where you can help out: Volunteering with Back on My Feet involves choosing one of our 5 locations, at 5:30 AM while the rest of the city sleeps, to meet up with like minded volunteers as well as individuals who are overcoming adversity by using the transformational power of running.
Association for Public Art
The Association for Public Art (aPA, formerly the Fairmount Park Art Association) is the nation’s first private, nonprofit organization dedicated to integrating public art and urban planning. Founded in 1872, the Association commissions, preserves, promotes and interprets public art in Philadelphia.
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Where you can help out: Do you think Philadelphia has one the most extraordinary collections of public art in the U.S.? We do too! Volunteer or become a Public Art Ambassador for the nation’s first non-profit dedicated to creating a Museum Without Walls™ by integrating public art and urban planning: the Association for Public Art (aPA). We are looking for enthusiastic YIPers with a background or interest in visual art, particularly outdoor sculpture and/or the urban landscape. Up to four volunteers are requested for our Annual Meeting with Roxy Paine at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Monday, May 4th. Future opportunities may include assisting with aPA’s public programming, digital archive project, new commissions, and interactive social media campaigns.
Please sign up at the Happy Hour event or contact Nora Banks Sutherland at APA firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name, e-mail address, mailing address, and one sentence about your background/interest. We will add you to our volunteer/art ambassador list then contact you as details become available. Thank you for your interest in the Association for Public Art!
The mission of Mighty Writers is to teach Philadelphia kids (ages 7 to 17) to think and write with clarity so they can achieve success at school, at work and in life. Mighty Writers offer daily after-school academies, long- and short-term writing classes nights and weekends, teen scholar programs, mentorships, SAT Prep courses and college essay writing classes.
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Where you can help out: Do you love to write and want to make a lasting impact on young people in Philadelphia? Mighty Writers’ greatest volunteer needs currently are with the Mighty Writers Academy at our West Philadelphia location, and at our new bilingual site (bilingual volunteers needed) opening this spring in the Italian Market in South Philadelphia. Academy in West Philadelphia runs Monday through Thursday, 3-6pm, September to June, and volunteers are asked to commit to one day per week for six months (or a college semester for students). Both opportunities require compassionate writers to help students in grades 3-8 with homework and writing projects under the guidance of a dedicated Mighty Writers staff member, and both are fun and fulfilling ways to get started volunteering and growing with Mighty Writers. For details and to sign up, click here.
Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians
The Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians connects newly arrived individuals from around the world with the economic opportunities that they need to succeed in our region. Since opening their doors in 2003, they have assisted more than 10,000 people from over 140 countries. Their mission is clear – to be a centralized employment and referral center for the region’s growing immigrant community by promoting immigrant participation in the area’s political, social, and economic life.
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Where you can help out: The Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians helps prepare and train immigrants for work. We offer English classes for those still learning the language. And we work with skilled professionals who were established in their own countries but need new certification in the United States. Another group of immigrants we work with are small business owners working to start or expand a business in Philadelphia.
As a 26-person agency, we serve clients from dozens of countries that speak scores of languages. We would love to have more volunteers as tutors for our clients. Some clients need conversation practice partners. Others need help preparing for their citizenship interviews. Many clients also need help learning basic computer skills. (We know that YIPsters can offer your skills and time to this need!) Please consider sharing your expertise or giving your time for conversation practice and tutoring to some of Philadelphia’s most worthy and interesting people.
In closing, we hope to see you on Thursday to meet some great new contacts as well as these amazing organizations. Tickets are $10, and available online here. Can’t make it on Thursday? Stay tuned for our next Get Involved Happy Hour on March 19!