I just came across an inspiring article in the New Orleans Times-Picayune about young professionals moving to New Orleans after college graduation to help with the city’s ongoing recovery from Hurricane Katrina.
Although the city is still plagued with horrible problems–including the fact that many people who want to return to the city can’t do so–these young professionals, some who grew up in New Orleans and many who did not, are helping to make a difference. They are working in urban planning, community development, health, education and many other realms. They’ve even earned their own nickname: YURPs — Young Urban Rebuilding Professionals.
The article says:
Although the influx is by no means massive, it is substantial enough that experts cite plenty of anecdotal evidence that New Orleans, cast nationally as a place where many residents have not returned and others are still mulling whether to leave, is quietly attracting young people drawn by a sense of purpose.
Wanting purpose in one’s work is a hallmark of Generation Y, and a characteristic that always impresses me when I meet college students and recent grads. Congratulations to the YURPs in New Orleans, and I hope they inspire more people–young and old–to give back and make a difference.