Written by Jordan Palmer, proud corps member serving on the Lamar Advertising Company team at Melrose Elementary School.

As a recent college graduate, I know how important it is to network when thinking about my life after City Year. Last week, our 18-Minute Networking event was a great opportunity for me and the rest of the corps members to sit down with professionals in our fields of interest and speak with them for 18 minutes about what they do and what we are interested in. The event, which was sponsored by the Junior League of Baton Rouge, featured 18 tables and 27 professionals in the fields of higher education, k-12 education, legal careers, nonprofits, health/medicine, journalism/writing, business, youth development, fitness, social work, art, public policy/government, fashion, urban planning, communications, military, entrepreneurship and STACY (staying at City Year!).

I was extremely nervous before starting, but after we began and listened to the panelists talking about their careers, I became really excited to ask my questions and hear the answers. My first table was STACY, of course! Even though I have only been with City Year a few months, I am really interested in staying at City Year and doing another year making a difference in the lives of the students and communities we serve. I enjoyed getting to talk to my Impact Manager Cherie Cancio, along with Eron Jenkins, our Executive Director Laura Hamm, and a Program Manager from New Orleans, Kate Youngstrom. Even though I am loving the work that I am doing here with City Year, my true passion is working with the childhood obesity epidemic. So getting to sit down at the health/medicine table for the second round and talk with four wonderful people who work for Our Lady of the Lakes Hospital was a treat. There was even a City Year New York Alumna, Hannah, at that table talking about her life after City Year and her career as a nurse in New Orleans.

Getting a chance to talk to people who were a part of City Year and seeing where they are now was awesome. It was interesting to hear from all of the panelists what their majors were in college, then hear how they ended up with City Year or in other careers, and where life took them afterward. For a lot of people, it seemed to take them some place that one would not think after hearing what their major in college was. This got me exciting thinking about where I could end up after my time with City Year.

I know that I truly enjoyed this event and I am sure my fellow corps members did also. I would like to thank City Year and the Junior League of Baton Rouge for putting on this event and helping us to network. Also, a huge thank you to all the panelists who came out to talk to us and give us advice to help us out as we start thinking about our LACY plans! 

The event kicked-off with our Keynote Speaker, Eric Dexter, who is the President of our local young professionals networking group Forum 35, and a National Software Sales Consultant for ExecuPay. 

Corps Members hear from Eron Jenkins, Cherie Cancio, Laura Hamm, and Kate Youngstrom about how to turn a service year with City Year into a career at City Year!

Corps members and alumni hear from Kia Bickham from the Mayor's Office and Lizzy Stephens from Communities In Schools about launching a career in Youth Development. 

A mix of alumni and corps members listen to our panelists on Entrepreneurship.

Alumna Jourden Martin '13 & '14, who participated in the event, poses with alumna Jensine Pernell, a panelist, and Senior Corps Member Manda Wittebort.

The Junior League of Baton Rouge provided corps, staff, alumni, and panelists with an awesome meal after the event!

Members of the City Year Baton Rouge Alumni Board mix and mingle with one another and other alumni during the alumni reception. 


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