Philly is getting younger and making a difference, and the Young Professionals Network (YPN)  is leading the way. Check out the below column by Chamber President and CEO Rob Wonderling, “Philly gets younger, stronger,”  which appeared in today’s Philadelphia Metro:

What’s a thirtysomething doing on a Saturday morning painting rainbows at McClure Elementary School in North Philadelphia? Making a difference.

That thirtysomething is one of more than 1,100 young people living and working in the Greater Philadelphia region who are part of the Young Professionals Network of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. And that number is growing.

According to the 2010 census, the Greater Philadelphia region’s population growth rate was higher than those of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Detroit and Pittsburgh over the last decade. The data says our region ranks fifth with Houston closing in fast. Even cooler is the reported increase in the number of young people living in our region. For years, there has been a concern that our region (with its superb system of higher education) was educating kids who would then move on to other locales upon graduation. While it is still a concern, the needle is moving in the right direction for the first time in decades.

When not climbing the corporate ladder, the young professionals with YPN are donating their time and talent to volunteer for various worthy causes.

One YPN member, Sarah DeLaurentis, is the co-chair of the YPN Volunteer Committee and works as the Development Officer for Valley Youth House for Achieving Independence Center. The center helps abused, neglected and homeless youths, as well as their families. Last year, Sarah and the many other YPNers donated nearly 400 hours of their time to various organizations throughout the region.

To participate in YPN or receive additional information about professional development and volunteer opportunities, please e-mail me at [email protected] or visit www.greaterphilachamber.com.

The column can be found in the Metro here.