Last Tuesday evening, I sat on my living room floor with my way-too-big-to-be-a-lap dog in my lap, and listened to President Obama give the last speech of his presidency. During his 40-minute speech, a speech filled with laughter, applause, and plenty of tears, President Obama made the case for American democracy. He urged listeners to support and believe in democracy and take an active role in creating a better world. He wasn’t speaking to foreign governments or to an international audience, but to Americans right here at home. President Obama implored us to harness our power in the most important office in our democracy: citizen.  

As members of YNPN Phoenix, what does it mean to hold the most critical office in our country? Many young professionals rightfully tie their personal passions and morals to their professional work, developing careers in the social sector that allow others to live fulfilling, meaningful, and impactful lives. Some take to the streets to protest injustice and fight for a better community. And still others volunteer countless hours to a cause, to supporting a candidate, or even to running and holding office themselves. However you choose to exercise your role as citizen, know that it is powerful. Know that it matters. 

Last year was a profound call to action for many in the social sector. Now more than ever, young professionals play an essential role in shaping the future of our communities. We are primed and ready to step into leadership roles, support each other, and fight hard to create a better world for everyone. 

Of the many wise and poignant things President Obama said in his farewell speech, one thing in particular stuck out to me. He said that when we want something to change, there’s only one thing we can do: “Show up. Dive in. Stay at it.”

As your 2017 YNPN Phoenix President, I will show up for you, dive in to help you take your career to the next level, and stay at it as you build your networks and grow your impact. I am proud to work alongside each and every one of you as we create an equitable and inclusive Phoenix for everyone.


Elyse Guidas

President, YNPN Phoenix