Millennials are doing incredible things across Cleveland. But there are still many waiting to jump into greater civic involvement. That's why we asked Ashley Basile Oeken, president of young professionals group Engage Cleveland, how to get plugged in.
Engage Cleveland's network of more than 80 organizations offers millennial events from food outings to workouts — all organized on a convenient online calendar — so there are many choices. Do you want to take part in volunteerism or learn to make a better cocktail? Or both? "First, find out what you're passionate about, what your interests are," says Oeken. "Then find out if there's an organization out there that has a mission or vision around that passion."
Don't be afraid to quiz organization members over coffee or lunch. Before joining, make sure to ask what the time commitment will be, says Oeken. "I almost view it as a two-way interview process," she says. "The organization needs to ensure that you're a fit for them, but you also need to ensure that the organization is a fit for you."
Once you've got your foot in the door, don't get too comfy. Engage Cleveland's June 20-26 Young Professionals Week offers other ways to dip your toe in the civic pool from a luncheon with Mayor Frank Jackson to a class on how to pair wines with entrees to best suit a client's tastes. "We always try to offer some type of exclusive and inclusive opportunity for young professionals," says Oeken.