Extraordinary People: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's Young Professional Board

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - The time has come for young professionals to step up to the plate and help continue the work of important non-profits nationwide.

Here in Rochester, that work has already begun – especially for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

"There are people on the board or senior boards of all sorts of corporations or companies, charities, etc.,” said Chris Navin, President of the NCMEC’s Young Professionals Board. “And who are they grooming to continue that work?"

Navin says the answer to that lies in young professionals boards, like the one he’s president of.

"We are the only young professionals board currently nationwide for the center,” said Allison House, a board member. “So we're the first and the only – and a lot of the regional offices are very interested in starting their own chapters of young professionals, because of the impact we've been able to have in our area."

"Many of us have been at the center for a lot of years and many of our events are ones that we've done for a number of years as well,” said Pam Weaver, deputy executive director of the NCMEC of New York. “So it's nice to hear a fresh perspective."

Working with the senior board, the YP board has been able to bring in almost $10,000 per year for the last three years it has existed – and they continue to learn from those above them.

"The senior board has really embraced the Young Professional board. So they do try to mentor them,” Weaver said. “Some of them talk to senior board members that have similar careers and they've been able to share how they've grown and what they've done. So it's a great way for both of them to share and they learn from each other."

And the YP board is already thinking about the next generation.

"We've mentored some people in high school who are looking to get some experience in the non-profit sector before they graduate and go to college,” Navin said. “So they really understand this mission and they can spread and be important parts of young professionals boards like us."

In the meantime, the YP board is focused on the center's mission and continuing the important work there.

"I think the future for this young professionals board is to just keep growing,” House said. “We're at a really pivotal point. We're 3 years in and at this point, I think we've proven we're here to stay."

To learn more about how you can help the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, click here. 

To learn about the YP board's next event, the mystery dinner, click here. 

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