When moving to Naples in my early twenties, one of my first thoughts was how I would make a difference in my new community; but making a difference as a single person is a lot to take on individually.
Currently, I work in the public section as a local government employee and feel that I need to give back to the community that has given me so much. Thanks to Growing Associates in Naples™ (GAIN™), I can make a difference and give back! Throughout the 9 weekly sessions the program offered, I met some of the best, smartest, and determined group of young professionals who share my passion to make Naples the best it’s ever been. Through this program, I was given the opportunity to see the behind the scenes “gears” that make our community turn like the Collier County Sheriffs office, who work night and day, selflessly to keep our community safe; Arthex, who is the masterminds behind the medical advancements and making great achievement; and my personal favorite, the Supervisor of Elections team, who work tirelessly during the election seasons to ensure our votes are counted.
GAIN also gifted me to opportunity to utilize the friendships I have made through this program and incorporate them into my day to day life. My classmates and I have been involved of various fundraisers and events, which have helped various communities in Collier County. Due to these friendships, we have been able to establish a support system as well, supporting one another, both in our careers and our personal life. Thanks to my involvement in GAIN, I was recently introduced to another young professionals’ group, Naples Humane Society after hearing the good they offer our community, lead me to adopting three wonderful pets.
GAIN is one of the best opportunities I have been gifted by my employer to be a part of and the lasting impression of each session will continue to drive me to be a valuable member to not only Collier County but to society as a whole. My commitment to my job and the continual participating in the wonderful events that support the individuals and organizations, makes up Naples, Florida, my forever home.
I would strongly recommend all young professionals in Collier County to apply. Whether you’ve lived here your entire life or just moved to Naples recently, the program will leave a lasting impression and you’ll leave with lifelong connections.
GAIN applications for the class of 2019 are due October 26, 2018. Apply today!
Patty is the Zoning Plans Examiner for the City of Naples Planning Department, she is a 2018 GAIN graduate.