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Local

TriCity Family Services establishes Youth Professional Council

Council allows for networking opportunities

ST. CHARLES – TriCity Family Services is no stranger to the benefits of networking and saw an opportunity to get young professionals to not only network, but also get involved with the organization and give back to the community with the Young Professional Council.

It’s also an opportunity to help TriCity Family Services, which offers counseling and wellness services in addition to other programs, move toward the future, said Miranda Barfuss, TriCity Family Services director of development.

“It’s a need strategically as an evolution of our agency,” Barfuss said. “We recently celebrated our 50-year anniversary and are now looking toward the next 50 years. We hope to have people in the pipeline who can carry this agency into the future.”

In October 2017, the Young Professional Council had a kickoff meeting at Penrose Brewery in which members met and networked.

Since then, the council has been working on growing its numbers. Barfuss said there are six members in the council so far, and they are always looking for more.

“We would like as many people as we can get involved,” she said. “The wider the network, the better we can help the community.”

Tom Brown, a 26-year-old living in DeKalb, became a member of the council after his employer, DHJJ, got him involved with TriCity Family Services. He saw an opportunity to not only help TriCity Family Services and the community, but also to make an impact on an important health issue.

“This is a great way to get involved with a great organization and give back to the community,” Brown said. “I think mental health is a prevalent topic, and if I can make even a small impact in the community, that’s good enough for me.”

While the young part of Young Professional Council may turn people away, there isn’t an age requirement. Ages on the council range from mid-20s to mid-40s.

As for future plans, the group won’t be meeting in February as it will be focusing more on helping with the TriCity Family Services Mardi Gras Gala on Feb. 24. The group also is focusing on an event in May, Brown said.

While the group is small, Brown believes things can only get better.

“I think we’re off to a great start and can only go up from here,” Brown said.

Those looking to get involved with the Young Professional Council can find information at www.tricityfamilyservices.org or contact Miranda Barfuss at mbarfuss@tricityfamilyservices.org.

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