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Columbus, a great city for young professionals

Posted February 24, 2015    

Columbus, a great city for young professionals


Special to the Ledger-EnquirerFebruary 21, 2015 


Attention 20-somethings: Columbus is a great place to be.

I know, I know. A lot of us swore we'd get out the first chance we got. And we did!

New York. D.C. Los Angeles. Chicago. New Orleans. Boston. Portland. Atlanta.

We've gone and conquered. We've proved to ourselves that you can come from Columbus and make it anywhere.

So why would we come back home? Because it's kind of awesome here.

Some of us do leave and never come back, but others return only to realize that Columbus is actually a much more ambitious, fun-loving, bright, young city than we remembered.

Young Columbusites are advocating for locally farmed food that is safe, nutritious and affordable (i.e., Columbus Local Food Fund).

We are banding together on the cutting edge of creative Web design and digital marketing (i.e., Stand and Stretch and Tenfold Marketing).

We are devoting endless hours to combat local hunger, homelessness and illiteracy.

We are creating art en masse -- photography, paintings, theater, dance and film.

We are bringing everything we learned and loved about the places we came from back to the city we call home.

And Columbus is allowing us to thrive.

Last week, I attended my first Young Professionals event.

I'd heard about YP upon moving back. It seemed overwhelming. I imagined a bunch of attractive, power-hungry members sitting around in suits and plotting to take over the city. I didn't expect it to be inclusive or diverse.

I was wrong. Their kickoff event was something special. It was free and open to all. Hundreds of people were there -- yes, some in suits -- representing all manner of industries and interests.

It was held at the River Mill and the atmosphere was electric.

There was a DJ, delicious buffet, bar and tables set up to allow people to learn more about YP's efforts in the community and to learn about other local groups for young people.

I mingled with old friends and made new ones.

I chatted with a young pastor, a media manager and an entrepreneur in the course of a half-hour.

I enjoyed a conversation with a local attorney who is pursuing his master's in history from Columbus State University.

It was great to hear the passion in his voice as he talked about his course load while considering the obvious: what does a lawyer need a master's in history for? He's already got a career, right?

But that is a great example of what I'm noticing about the young professional community here. We aren't in Columbus because we've settled or given up. We're here because we see our potential and we know this city will help us grow and allow us to give back. We're here because we want to be -- and it's good.


Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder.

My view of Columbus may be a recurring theme for a couple of weeks, and I will always be interested in hearing where we agree and disagree.

-- Natalia Naman Temesgen is an independent correspondent. Contact her at [email protected] or on [email protected]

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