Young Professional


The Young Professional Section (YPS) is a section of the WRPA that is responsible for providing and facilitating educational and networking opportunities to students and young professionals within the WPRA. The YPS isn’t just for young professionals that have just graduated from college. A young professional can be a student, an individual who just graduated college or a professional that has switched careers and is new to the Parks & Recreation profession. The section provides educational opportunities at the annual conference, networking conference calls a few times a year, mentoring opportunities, relationship building with the Universities, and resume and cover letter reviews.


Ryan Pawlisch

Katelin Dorow
Chair Elect

John McDonald
Past Chair

Angela George
Secretary/Social Media Manager

Mikayla Schwab
Region Representative-At-Large

Sami Weaver
Region Representative-At-Large

Amanda Schwictenberg
Region Representative-At-Large



Student Representative



If you are interested in becoming the Young Professional Student Representative please fill out the following form: Young Professional Student Representative Application

Young Professional Awards
2021 Young Professional of the Year Online Nomination Form
2021 Young Professional of the Year Hard Copy Form
Past Outstanding Young Professional of the Year Recipients


View Past Agendas & Minutes

Vision Statement

An abundance of new Parks and Recreation professionals that have a mentor, are well-networked, are engaging in both state and national levels, and who are achieving their professional goals.

Mission Statement

Engage members by offering professional development opportunities, fostering relationships, and providing a voice within the field of Parks and Recreation.

2020 Accomplishments

  • Continued to successfully plan for YPs educational Tract for the WPRA Conference
  • Continued to reach out and gain support and cooperation from UW- La Crosse, UW-Whitewater and MATC (Madison Area Technical College)
  • Continue to engage students and young professionals across the state of Wisconsin and tie them into opportunities to network and grow within the NRPA Young Professionals Section.
  • Propose approval of YPS to be added to 5 major WPRA sanctioned awards
  • Produce and promote a webinar tutorial on how to effectively utilize the WPRA website.

2021 Objectives & Goals

Engage and connect students, young professionals and distinguished professionals

  • Schedule regular weekly posts to the YPS Facebook page for promotion of events, educational opportunities and information from WPRA and NRPA
  • Participate in WPRA Conference Tradeshow and disburse marketing materials and information on upcoming events and networking opportunities
  • Submit three YPS-sponsored articles for IMPACT Magazine.
  • Engage a total of 25 or more new students and young professionals as evidenced by membership to the YPS Facebook group, participation in YPS events, and participation in YPS meetings.


Develop and maintain relationships with secondary education institutions

  • Complete one site/virtual visit with Madison College, UW-La Crosse and UW-Whitewater to discuss WPRA, YPS and current trends within the profession
  • Reach out to two higher education institutions to develop relationships with Sports, Recreation and/or Public Administration programs.
  • Identify additional opportunities for partnership with higher education institutions such as mock interview days, resume critiques, etc.

Provide a variety of robust and intentional professional development opportunities for students and young professionals

  • Implement YPS Mentorship Luncheon at 2020 Conference in partnership with Madison College.
  • Implement framework for partnership opportunity with Leadership Academy to collaborate on webinar series beginning in 2021.
  • Engage a total of 50 or more unduplicated students and young professionals in YPS professional development programs as evidenced by registration numbers.
  • Investigate the feasibility of collaborating with Leadership Academy on YPS webinar series and develop framework for implementation.
  • Produce a lineup of six YPS track sessions for the 2020 WPRA Conference and Tradeshow

Foster and build relationships within NRPA Young Professional Network

  • Conduct one joint conference call with other state’s YPN groups
  • Prepare and propose a speaker proposal for National conference
  • Develop a report of NRPA YPN events, programs and services on a monthly basis and present at WPRA YPS meetings to continue dialogue on trends and opportunities for collaboration.