The Young Professionals Committee is committed to helping new professionals in the Parks and Recreation Field with continuing education and networking opportunities though Lunch & Learns and other events (CEU's available!). Our goal is also to help current students at Kansas Universities obtain quality internships and jobs by providing valuable education focusing on the steps needed to obtain their first job in the Parks and Recreation industry through university visits and the Student Summit at the KRPA Conference.


To learn more about Lunch & Learns, CEUs, University Visits, and the Student Summit contact committee chairman Sean Thomas at stomas@cityofshawnee.org or visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.



Committee Members: 

Sean Thomas, Chair, Shawnee Parks & Recreation

Adriana Holopirek, Gardner Parks & Recreation

Tegan Meadors, Edgerton Parks & Recreation

Laura Covert, Pittsburgh State University

Jaima Nicholson, Mulvane Recreation Commission

Audrey Gann, Newton Recreation Commission

Jeff Stos, Mulvane Recreation Commission

Tanner Ford, Wellington Recreation Commission

Kate Elliot, Lindsborg Parks & Recreation

Brad Nacarotto, Maize Recreation Commission

Stephen Mason, Lawrence Parks & Recreation

Adam Richter, Hutchinson Recreation Commission

Erin Ritter, Fort Riley DFMWR

Justine Smith, Bonner Springs Parks & Recreation

Shaya Patrick, WYCO/KCK Parks & Recreation

Lunch and Learns

Lunch and Learns are a great opportunity outside of the KRPA conference to network with Recreation and Parks Professionals and discuss topics that pertain to the field. Normally meeting at a local restaurant or eatery, we invite anyone in the field of Recreation and Parks to join us for educational session by experts on topics ranging from professional certifications, marketing, programming and much more. Lunch and Learns are a fantastic opportunity to stay current on the information you need to be successful in the field of Recreation or Parks. Do you have a topic you would like to have covered at the next Lunch and Learn? Let us know! (Coming soon Lunch and Learn CEU’s!)


University Visits

Part of the commitment of Young Professionals is to be the official liaison between KRPA and the future leaders of our field.  The Young Professionals committee visits universities in Kansas as guest speakers.  Topics include tips on creating resumes, finding internships, how to gain experience in the field, applying for jobs, and describe and invite students to attend the KRPA Conference Student Summit.

KRPA Conference Student Summit

The Student Summit is usually held on Monday of the KRPA Conference. During the summit, current students in Recreation and Parks are invited to participate sessions that help prepare them for careers in the field. The 2014 Student Summit saw over 30 students from local universities, who had the opportunity to attend breakout sessions.  Those sessions included mock interviews, building resumes, gaining experience in the field, and where to look for job opportunities. The student summit punctuated by an Internship/Job fair where Kansas organizations were invited to attend and recruit interns and seasonal employees. The Intern/Job Fair offers organizations a chance to meet potential interns and seasonal employees face to face. 

KRPA Mentor Program

This program was created to help all Kansas Recreation and Parks Association (KRPA) members and is meant to complement the career counseling relationship an employee may have with their supervisor. It is not intended to replace any of the formal or informal counseling/mentoring relationships that already exist within or outside a person’s place of employment. As a matter of course, KRPA members are encouraged to develop several informal mentor/professional relationships throughout their careers as a means to nurture and foster the park and recreation.

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