The non-profit organization Young Catholic Professionals (YCP) is expanding, with five more chapters around the country slated to launch by the end of 2021.
“We have never been in a better place than we are today to grow both horizontally and vertically, reaching more young people in our current chapters and in cities across the country,” said Jennifer Baugh, the group’s founder and executive director, to CNA on June 25.
Young Catholic Professionals is a non-profit with a mission to “challenge, train and inspire young adults working in various professions to work in witness for Christ.” The organization brings together young adults and business professionals in a variety of programs to foster Catholic identity, encourage community and inspire action.
The group plans to launch five new chapters this year, bringing the total number of chapters around the country to 28. Philadelphia & Boston chapters are anticipated to launch by the end of the summer, followed by chapter launches in Kansas City, Nashville and Fairfield County, Connecticut before the end of year.
Baugh told CNA that the pandemic-related challenges of 2020 prompted the organization to work on projects and create a “YCP 2.0.”
With St. Joseph as the group’s patron saint, Braugh told CNA that the saint is an “incredible example” of courage in the workforce.
YCP aims to bring people together to resemble a loving community, following the example of the Holy Family. “We don’t need to figure out life on our own,” Braugh told CNA. “YCP is here to help you navigate your life with a friend by your side.”
Braugh told CNA that “we are at a very serious crossroads in our Church.”
People are typically introduced to YCP through one of the group’s free “core programs” which consist of networking happy hours, an executive speaker series and St. Joseph Saturdays.
Young people are then invited to become an official member to support YCP’s mission. Members receive access to three virtue-based executive panel discussions, executive mentorship, forums (peer advisory groups), a “spiritual hotline,” and discounts to YCP’s conference; the group will be holding a conference in the Spring of 2022.
The conference usually features hundreds of young participants, priests and religious, Catholic executives and Catholic organizations. The weekend consists of prayer, fellowship, and spiritual and professional formation.
“Through the mentorship and support of priests, Catholic leaders and role models, professional and spiritual formation, you will feel more confident to live your faith at work and in every facet of your life with that heroic courage that is so necessary today,” Braugh told CNA.
In the future, Braugh hopes to strengthen the organization’s brand, expand its reach, and implement new marketing and technology solutions to communicate with members and those interested in joining.
Braugh told CNA that many people currently hear about YCP through word of mouth, and through parish announcements at Masses or events, or in parish bulletins.
YCP launched a virtual monthly “micro-interview series” where experienced Catholic business leaders can share professional and spiritual wisdom.
“These enriching conversations offer guidance to help our young professionals navigate their careers, work-life balance, and offer clear demonstrations of what it looks like to be a proud Catholic in the working world,” Braugh said. Viewers can also submit their own questions in a live question-and-answer segment.