How the NRPA Young Professional Network Is Amplifying the Voices of the Next Generation — Episode 137

By Cort Jones | Posted on May 30, 2023

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If you are an NRPA member, you may know that NRPA provides exclusive member networks to support your professional needs and development. These networks, ranging from Aquatics, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Armed Forces, Leadership Development, and more, are an opportunity to collaborate and connect with like-minded professionals from across the county.

One of these networks — which is highly engaged and doing a lot of amazing work in the profession — is the Young Professional Network, or YPN. The YPN serves NRPA members who are students and young professionals under the age of 35, and provides members the opportunity to network, share resources, connect and grow together personally and professionally.

I’m thrilled to be joined today by the co-chairs of the YPN’s publications committee to discuss how they’re working to lift up the voices and experiences of young professionals. Joining me is Rachel Smith, a certified park and recreation professional and the operations manager at James City County Parks and Recreation in Virginia, and Colton Patak, the program supervisor at City of Mason in Ohio.

Tune in to our full conversation below to learn how Colton and Rachel are helping to share the impact that young park and recreation professionals are making across the country. You’ll also learn:

  • Why being part of the YPN is so beneficial for young park and recreation professionals and those just getting started in their career
  • Why it’s so important for professionals — especially young professionals — to share their stories, experiences, challenges and successes with their peers
  • What types of topics the YPN Publications Committee is exploring for future publications
  • How being part of the YPN has been valuable for Rachel and Colton, and why you should join (and a lot more)!

Listen to the episode for the full story:


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