Magazine article Parks & Recreation

The Student/young Professional Network: Strengthening the Future of the Recreation Field

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

The Student/young Professional Network: Strengthening the Future of the Recreation Field

Article excerpt

IT IS A VERY EXCITING TIME to be involved with NRPA, especially with the organization's new structure. I want to welcome everyone to the new Student/Young Professional Network, formerly the Student Branch Board. As Chair of the Student/ Young Professional Network, I want to take this opportunity to talk about our leadership structure and our goals as we move forward within the organization.

First, an introduction. I am Brooke Burk, currently a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana studying youth development, health, and recreation. I began serving on the Student Board in 2008, and since then, I have served on the National Forum and Programs Committee and attended both the NRPA Legislative Forum and the National Institute on Recreation Inclusion conference. These opportunities allowed me to learn more about NRPA and promote membership.

The main goal of the Student/Young professional net work in 2010 was to become more involved in NRPA as a whole--as well as to promote the recreation field nationally, regionally, and locally'. NRPA's restructuring has allowed for new faces and leadership roles within this network. Current leadership roles include Chair, Chair-Elect Secretary, Parks & Recreation Liaison, National Forum, Young Professional, Professional Development, Social and Service leaders, two At-Large Leaders to assist with Regional Networks, and two At-Large Leaders to assist with Specialty Networks (i.e., Education, Aquatics, and Armed Forces). With this leadership team in place, we feel we can better accomplish our network goals.

Looking to 2011, the Student/Young Professional Network has even more ambitious goals: First, we seek to increase membership and member awareness of our network so more students and young professional can learn, connect, and advance their careers. Second, we plan to serve as a regular contributor to Parks & Recreation magazine, providing articles of interest to students and young professionals. Third, we have committed to increasing participation and networking opportunities in our field through service projects such as Park Visit Day and Take-A-Young-Professional-to-Lunch Day. Finally, we intend to promote online discussion and use of our webpage to foster education, collegiality, and networking. It is the hope of this network's leaders that more students and young professionals will take advantage of the benefits of belonging to a national organization--and that they will become aware of networking and educational opportunities in the field. …

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