Submitted By Nelly G. Arnold, Innovation Philadelphia

Members of the Young Professionals Network visited McClure Elementary school on March 13, 2009 to talk about their careers to 3rd and 4th graders. Much of the morning was filled with excited kids asking what it’s like to be a professional, what do people with jobs do all day, and what is accounting? YPN professionals hoped to inspire the students to value their education and most importantly stay in school.

In preparation for a week’s full of state exams, the students created posters with test taking tips and tricks. These posters were then judged by a mix of YPNers, teachers, and district employees and the winners were announced at a pep rally. “The students truly respond to attention from young role models like us. Their age is young enough to be open to the idea of success, but old enough to make real choices about their future,” says Ruben Reyes, co-organizer of the event and President of Lyquix. Ruben recognized the challenge in explaining his business to 10 year olds. “I chose to keep it general and focus on the value of education. I also spoke the whole time in Spanish and the students seemed to really respond to the multi-lingual approach.”

After the classroom visits and pep rally, the YPN group ate lunch with a sampling of teachers and staff from the classes. “We are an open an honest ear. Because YPN has adopted McClure specifically as a volunteer project, we can make a long term impact on the success of the school and their influence on students every year,” says Nelly Arnold of Innovation Philadelphia, co-organizer of the event. “YPN’s Volunteer Committee is consistently looking for new innovative ways to help McClure and other projects. We are part of their committee and, at least today, are their ear,” says Nelly.

YPN will be back next year for Career Day, with the same hopes to inspire academic success. The next McClure event is the End of the Year Celebration, when students are recognized for their successes for the whole year.

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