WELCOME TO INDY!
Yesterday, we kicked off the 2023 Indyfluence program at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, and it was an event to remember! Interns from states and countries all over the world came together to learn more about the 4-week program and get connected with the Indy community. After interns checked in, we welcomed our host for the day — the one and only — Jo Garcia. Jo works as the Individual Giving Officer for the Great American Songbook Foundation. Her contributions to the preservation of music, arts, and education in Indy made her the perfect host for the kickoff!
Jo started the morning off by getting the interns excited for the day and providing more background on the three core pillars of the program — MEET INDY, LEARN FROM INDY, and GIVE BACK TO INDY. Interns were then invited to provide their own input by taking quick surveys throughout the event. The interns shared some of the activities they hoped to do, the types of neighborhoods they were interested in, and ways they wanted to serve in the community. Luckily, they were able to get a first-hand perspective on making an impact in Indy through our Instant Impact networking event.
LEARN FROM INDY – INSTANT IMPACT NETWORKING EVENT
Over 50 local doers and changemakers came out to support and network with the interns. The majority of the leaders were in their 20s and 30s, and really helped the interns understand that it is possible to make an impact in Indy at any age! They shared their life experiences, advice, and insights on why Indianapolis is the best place to begin a career. Interns were able to learn about some of our city’s major industries, local non-profits, and community initiatives. The room was full of great conversation and inquisitive, eager, young minds!
After the networking event, Jo reminded the interns about all the other opportunities interns will have to LEARN FROM INDY. There are a variety of sponsored events planned throughout the next 4 weeks – networking events, ice cream socials, workshops, and historical tours, etc. These event are all generously hosted by our program sponsors – Roche Diagnostics, Eli Lilly and Company, One America, and Century 21 Scheetz. We can’t wait for you to get involved and take advantage of all of these wonderful professional development opportunities!
GIVE BACK TO INDY – MEETING THE 2023 GIVEBACK FINALISTS
One of the most important features of the Indyfluence program is the GIVE BACK TO INDY pillar. Interns can discover volunteer opportunities through our partners, but they also have the chance to select one of four non-profit finalists to receive a $14,000 Indyfluence grant. Jo took some time to introduce each of the finalists — accessABILITY, Flanner House, Indiana Youth Group, and Latinas Welding Guild. Interns will be able to vote on the winner at our closing event in July at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
Each leader spoke about their mission, the resources they have available, and the impact they want to make with the grant. accessABILITY spoke about supplying vital resources and advocating for the independence of people with disabilities. Flanner House shared information about tackling food insecurity in the Black community and helping individuals become self-sufficient after situations of crisis. Indiana Youth Group talked about providing housing, food, clothing, and counseling for LGBTQ+ youth that have been kicked out of their homes. Lastly, Latinas Welding Guild discussed helping marginalized women in the welding industry build their careers and overcome harassment and discrimation. Each finalist also provided ways for interns to volunteer at their organizations and feel more connected to the Indianapolis community.
MEET INDY – CITYWIDE SCAVENGER HUNT
After the GIVE BACK finalist interviews, the interns were in for a surprise — a citywide scavenger hunt! This competition was designed to help interns build new friendships while exploring Indy’s unique history, art installations, food, and entertainment. They were able to grab a bite to eat at local places like the Indianapolis City Market or Bottleworks District. They explored popular landmarks like Monument Circle and the War Memorial. They even got to visit some of Indy’s major sporting venues like Gainbridge Fieldhouse and Victory Field. Everywhere you looked there were Indyfluence interns!
The scavenger hunt teams were split off into three different routes which allowed each team to experience Indianapolis from a unique perspective. They were all giving a map of their route and used cards to track their progress. Teams could even gain bonus points if they took group photos at each of the locations. A lot of walking was involved during the day, but it was a great opportunity to enjoy the sunshine and see how easy it is to navigate Indianapolis. The winning team, Team 20, received custom goodie bags with amazing prizes valuing over $275 each! The bags included tickets to major sporting events and museums, gift cards for local restaurants and breweries, and some Indy-branded swag.
GIVE BACK TO INDY – MEETING THE 2023 GIVEBACK FINALISTS
Although the kickoff was exciting and eventful, the fun didn’t end there. Jo concluded the day by inviting the interns to attend the FastForward event later that evening at The AMP at 16 Tech. The Indy Chamber hosted this event to provide more opportunities for interns to get connected with the Indy community and further their careers.
We had a blast during the entire kickoff! Seeing all of Indy’s future doers and changemakers was awe-inspiring. But now, we are looking forward to helping YOU find your place in this community! We want to help you build a meaningful career and find ways to make your mark in Indy. If you want to get connected, don’t forget to register for more upcoming Indyfluence events by checking out our weekly newsletter. There will also be daily social media posts and blog content highlighting different things to do and see around Indianapolis, so be sure to keep an eye out for that!
We are all super excited that Indyfluence 2023 has officially commenced, and we can’t wait for the next four weeks as our interns finally MEET INDY, LEARN FROM INDY, and GIVE BACK TO INDY!
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