Chamber meeting

When life throws you a curveball, you have to adapt. For the Young Professionals of Streeterville (YPS), that meant having to change up its plans for social events, which were no longer allowed following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mario Hollemans, with YPS, said the group thought of different ways they could hold events while still practicing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the governor and the city.

While YPS typically hosts monthly networking events and quarterly service opportunities, Hollemans said social media proved to be a critical resource in keeping members informed, connected and able to participate.

“We created an Instagram challenge where our members promoted their favorite local venues that have hosted YPS,” he said. “In lieu of our regular service events, we have shifted our focus to celebrating our essential workers.”

They also lended a hand to those battling COVID-19.

“In solidarity with our health care workers, we promoted a donation drive hosted by our service chair, Dr. Valerie Mayuga, who collected over 90 electronic tablets for COVID-19 patients at local hospitals,” Hollemans said.

“This group started off as five friends committed to building a community-focused group for young professionals to network and give back,” he said.

The group has also thought of ways to help local restaurants.

“While we miss frequenting our favorite neighborhood venues, we have been able to support Streeterville’s businesses by creating an online restaurant guide promoting our past venues,” he said.

Even though quarantine has impacted YPS, Hollemans said interest has continued to grow. The group has seen an increase in online followers over the past few months.

Slowly, YPS has been going back to certain activities that were held prior to quarantine.

Although groups are limited to 10 people, Hollemans said the executive board and committee meetings are able to be held in person again. He added that the social committee is looking to host an outdoor event in August.

The 600-member strong group hosts social and service events, along with providing young adults in Streeterville the opportunity to network.

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