Board of Young Professionals
The Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet Board of Young Professionals is an organization of young adults committed to promoting the compassionate works of Catholic Charities through effective community action, including volunteer service, and social fundraising.
Our Brief History
The Catholic Charities Board of Young Professionals represents a new chapter in the history of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet. It’s an adjunct to the Board of Directors. The goal of the Board of Young Professionals is to enable younger benefactors to support Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet in order to directly execute the Agency’s service and social missions.
The Board of Young Professionals is comprised of young adult members who attend Catholic Charities events, socialize at their own Board of Young Professionals events/gatherings and volunteer with Catholic Charities.
What does a Member of the Board of Young Professionals Look Like?
A member serving on the Board of Young Professionals is usually between the age of 21 and 40. A members’ primary motivation for joining the Board of Young Professionals is to become more involved with other young professionals looking to network, socialize, and to give back to the community. Successful members share certain other characteristics: the desire to work with others interested in charitable work; the desire to connect to the broader secular community; and a renewed interest in personal growth.
Many members have established professional careers and recognize this group as a way of gaining momentum in the arena of community recognition, service and leadership. Other members are in the initial stages of careers in business, government, education, the arts, and the nonprofit sector – to name a few.
There are no professional or educational restrictions placed upon the Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet Board of Young Professional’s membership. There are no religious restrictions placed upon Board of Young Professionals membership. The Board of Young Professionals welcomes adults from all faiths and walks of life.
Q: Why a Board of Young Professionals?
A: Through the Board of Young Professionals, Catholic Charities addresses its sustaining interests – to insure that succeeding generations understand, value, and take part in the mission of Catholic Charities. In addition, the Board of Young Professionals provides young residents of the Diocese of Joliet and beyond with the opportunity to fulfill their personal call to service. The Board of Young Professionals taps into the energy and creativity of young professionals – utilizing skills that are invaluable to an organization like Catholic Charities, but distinct from the responsibilities of the Board of Directors. Most importantly, the Board of Young Professionals represents an opportunity for young people to connect with their peers through their own social events and service activities.
Q: What does a Board of Young Professionals member do?
A: The Board of Young Professionals presents diverse opportunities for participation, and members are expected to maintain a minimum level of attendance in order to sustain active membership. Membership to the Board of Young Professionals is a commitment to the programs of Catholic Charities as displayed through participation in Board of Young Professionals and agency-wide activities. Member roles and responsibilities are detailed below.
- Members are appointed to a two year term. Every other year a mailing will go out which gives members the opportunity to re-dedicate themselves to the Board of Young Professionals.
- Members are required to sit on at least one Committee of their choosing (which they will indicate on their membership application). Sitting on a committee does not imply your time is exclusive to that committee. In fact, all members are strongly encouraged to participate in the wide variety of events and volunteer activities that are offered.
- Committees: Volunteer Committee and Social Committee.
- Members are strongly encouraged to perform one hour of service or attend one event per month.
- It is expected that each Board of Young Professionals member give or procure a minimum donation of $100 per year. The $100 can be reached by means of a personal donation, the purchase of event tickets, or procurement of funds or goods (opportunities for underwriting or in-kind gifts) to benefit volunteer activities or Board of Young Professionals social events and fundraisers. Although personal giving is appreciated from the members themselves, it is not required as payment of dues for participation in this group. In addition, Board of Young Professionals members are asked to procure matching gifts from their employer.
- Members are encouraged to attend all General Meetings (see below), with each member required to attend at least two General Meetings per year.
The Board of Young Professionals will meet bi-annually. These meetings are called “General Meetings,” and they are a great opportunity for the entire Board of Young Professionals to gather for networking and fellowship. At these meetings we hear updates on Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet and their impact in our communities, Executive Committee Advisors give brief reports on the happenings of each of the Volunteer and Social committees, new members are recognized and welcomed, and members are given the opportunity for socializing and relationship building. General Meetings convene at the Blanchette Catholic Center in Crest Hill. Meetings begin at 7:00 and will conclude by 8:30. Beer, wine, and dinner are served.
Q: Are there dues associated with membership?
A: No, but we do suggest that members give or get at least $100 each year. Any dollars spent on tickets to an event count toward that goal. Also, members who solicit funds or goods in support of an event or program will have those dollars counted toward the goal.
Q: When can I join?
A: Now! Recruitment of new members is ongoing and occurs throughout the year. You and your friends may join at any time! Please contact Edith Avila Olea if you have any additional questions about membership.
Q: I don’t have time to be a member. Can I come to the social events?
A: Of course! The more, the merrier! Consult our calendar for our next social event.
Q: What is the Volunteer Committee?
A: The Board of Young Professionals extends the services of the Catholic Charities through works of mercy, kindness, and compassion to the needy. Volunteers share the gift of time and self-giving so that the spirit of others may be uplifted.
The Volunteer Committee channels the talents of Board of Young Professionals to effectively serve Catholic Charities and their need for volunteers, while also increasing committee membership and expanding the volunteer opportunities available.
All volunteer projects of the Board of Young Professionals are run through the Volunteer Committee. Each program has designated Project Leaders, or Co-Chairs, who will sit as members of the Volunteer Committee and stay in regular contact with the Volunteer Committee Co-Chairs. Members of the Volunteer Committee will ensure that an accurate accounting of volunteer involvement is forwarded to the Board of Young Professionals Manager, Edith Avila Olea. New projects will be added as needed with appropriate leadership assigned.
Q: What is the Social Committee?
A: The Social Committee fulfills the mission of the Board of Young Professionals by working to provide the Catholic Charities programs with much needed monetary and in-kind support by holding various fundraisers throughout the calendar year.
The Social Committee plans and organizes all social events and fundraisers for the Catholic Charities Board of Young Professionals and its friends. Committee members are responsible for determining date, location, and theme of the event as well as seeking donations to underwrite its cost. In addition, the Social Committee provides valuable social and business networking opportunities with people who have similar interests in charitable work within a faith-based setting.
Q. Is there an elected Executive Committee?
A. Yes. The Board of Young Professionals Executive Committee’s primary goal is to direct and provide leadership in areas of membership, recruiting, outreach, and for each project of the Board of Young Professionals. As representatives of the Board of Young Professionals, the Executive Committee assists in the implementation of the Board’s goals and objectives, and fulfillment of its purpose. The Executive Committee will consist of a Chairperson, a Vice-chairperson, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. Positions held on The Executive Committee will be determined by elections held the last week of June and will carry a 2 year term limit.
As the primary governing body of the Board of Young Professionals, the Executive Committee also has the responsibility to establish and evaluate membership guidelines, recruitment, education, and orientation.
Please note: The Executive Committee does not have influence in the hiring of Catholic Charities staff. The Executive Committee is solely involved in the work of the Board of Young Professionals.
Q: You haven’t answered my question yet. Who do I call?
A: Call or email Edith Avila Olea at 815-724-1220 and she’ll get you answers.
Please Join Us:
We are a constantly growing group. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a member of the Board of Young Professionals, please contact Edith Avila Olea to request a packet of information. Edith can be reached at 815-724-1220. We promise that the process for membership will be painless!
Recruit a Friend
The people who know what we need most are our members. We look to you to bring on the next wave of new members to continue in our mission. Contact Edith Avila Olea at 815-724-1220 and she will initiate contact to bring your friend or family member onto the Board of Young Professionals. If you have any questions or would like to request an informational packet about the Board of Young Professionals, you may contact Edith Avila Olea, by filling out the contact form below.