ASCE Philadelphia YMF Members,
As you may know, some of the goals of the Philadelphia Younger Member Forum (YMF) are to provide its members with meaningful networking events and technical presentations that allow for the acquisition of professional development hours (PDHs), and to serve as a conduit to outreach and community service opportunities. What you may not know is that Younger Member Groups (YMGs) like the YMF have been formed all over the country with the purpose of bridging the gap between Student Members of ASCE and ASCE Members. The YMF College Contact Chairs have been doing a great job engaging the college students but I also have to commend and recognize the amazing work the Student Members themselves have been doing.
I can recall five years ago, when I was College Contact Co-Chair, how challenging it was to get students to understand the benefits of becoming more involved with the YMF and now we have students asking when our next events are and even inquiring about sitting in on YMF Board Meetings. Students have become so involved over the years that the Board welcomed two students to the Board right after they graduated.
This past February at the Multi-Region Leadership Conference for Regions 1, 2, 4, & 5 held in Newark, NJ, there was representation from every school in the Philadelphia Section: Drexel, Widener, Swarthmore, Temple, Villanova, and the adopted TCNJ were in attendance. It was cool seeing all the student leaders interacting with each other and making new friendships, as well as making professional contacts which, for at least one student, led to an interview for a full-time engineering job.
What makes me so proud of our Student Members is not only that they’re more involved with the YMF but that I’m seeing so many of them emerge as leaders. We’ve recently had student leaders team up with the student leaders of ASHE to host Secretary of Transportation, Leslie Richards, at Widener University; students are emailing me looking to implement new programs within the Section; several students have been receiving local and national recognition for their achievements and leadership; and students are even submitting papers to ASCE National.
The point of this message isn’t for the students to read about how proud I am of them (because I already tell them all the time). The point is to make Members aware of the talent coming out of all the schools mentioned above and encourage you to make an effort to interact with the Student Members, because they very well may be an asset to your team.
Kevin Brown, EIT
ASCE Philadelphia YMF Members,
Though my involvement began in college, I didn’t grow to see the full benefits of ASCE
until after graduation. Several of my co-workers were involved with the Philadelphia YMF
and encouraged me to come out to events, so I tagged along. I enjoyed the events, finding
the YMF members to be genuine and welcoming, so I decided to join the Board… and I haven’t
looked back since.
During my time with ASCE, I’ve experience many benefits to involvement: professional development and growing my professional network, opportunities to give back to the community through service and outreach, and technical advancement. Perhaps the best part, though, is that I’ve had a ton of fun doing it all and made some lifelong friends. I’d highly encourage all young engineers to get involved with ASCE now, and to stay involved! The initial networking becomes easier, and you see the value increase as you and your new friends all grow in your career. To that same end, once you’re involved, I’d ask that you look to be the gateway to ASCE for others! I know that, without my co-workers believing in my abilities and encouraging me to attend events, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Jesse Gormley, PE, ENV SP