Young Involved Philadelphia Set to Kickoff a “More Ambitious” 3rd Annual State of Young Philly SeriesBy Andy Sharpe |
As the economy continues to sputter across the Philadelphia-area, young adults often emerge from college, graduate school, or trade school discouraged. After all, the unemployment rate for recent graduates is more depressing than the overall jobless index as more and more employers demand experience as a prerequisite for openings.
However, Young Involved Philadelphia — also known as “YIP” — will be demonstrating that there are some young adults who are succeeding professionally.
This will be one of the goals of the State of Young Philly conference, which is a two-week event starting in late September that will highlight the contributions of young adults to education, sustainability, and the economy across the region.
Organizers of the State of Young Philly conference hope participants become much more intimately involved through the YIP Challenge, which the previous two conferences didn’t have. “The YIP Challenge will add an element that SoYP participants have not seen in previous years and encourage them to turn their ideas into tangible outcomes,” says Jason Wolfson, project manager for the event.
Those who wish to take part in the YIP Challenge will be tasked with developing creative solutions to problems involving education, sustainability, and economy, says Wolfson. The winning teams will receive $1,000 cash prizes to be awarded on the last day. Wolfson adds that the City of Philadelphia will be working with YIP on this Challenge.
This year’s State of Young Philly will feature double the amount of events of previous conferences, according to Wolfson. Events in the education portion of the conference will discuss the current state of learning in the city and the region, strategize on how parents can become more involved in education, and encourage innovation. Many of the events will be held in the Kimmel Center’s Innovation Studio.
The economy segment will approach ways in which people can donate to nonprofits, create jobs, foster entrepreneurship, and cultivate talent. Finally, the sustainability track will discuss best practices and policies in eco-friendliness, give tips on how everyone can be more environmentally aware, and provide a sustainable walking tour.
State of Young Philly has already amassed an impressive list of corporate and nonprofit partnership organizations. These include the Kimmel Center, Comcast, the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, the Clean Air Council, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government. We should add that Generocity is also partnering with YIP on this and is a supporting partner in SoYP.
As YIP is being much more ambitious with this year’s celebration of young adults, they are experiencing the challenges that go along with it. “The most complicated component to this year’s planning has been managing the new complexities to SoYP,” points out Wolfson.
These “complexities” include the increase in events and getting attendees to act on their lofty ideas through the Challenge. The project manager is pleasantly surprised about his crew’s ability to address these difficulties, admitting they’re “accomplishing tasks we did not anticipate were possible a few months ago.”
When event crafters say “Young Philly,” they’re reaching out to the “young and the young at heart,” remarks Wolfson, who adds their only requirement is for people to have “innovative and productive ways” to make the city and the region a better place.
YIP credits a strong movement of young adult leaders with spurring on this year’s more ambitious conference. “There is an incredibly strong group of young leaders who are passionate about making change and seeing improvement in this city,” says Wolfson. Certainly, the same can be said about the entire Delaware Valley.
Organizers add that many young people are taking matters into their own hands and minds and are opting to start their own businesses. In addition, many recent college and trade school graduates are having to be flexible with their skills, and have a willingness to go into a completely different field. The economy track of the conference will examine this.
To find out more about what to expect at this year’s event, listen to the Talkadelphia podcast as Jason Wolfson and Sophie Hwang discuss their thoughts on State of Young Philly and the YIP Challenge and watch Board Chair, Claire Robertson-Kraft discuss the vision of YIP on Philly.com’s One Great Idea.blog comments powered by Disqus