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Youth council adds vitality to local nonprofit employment services

Youth council adds vitality to local nonprofit employment services


After 40 years of facilitating life-changing professional experiences, a dedicated group of young professionals within the Santa Monica-based Chrysalis Network is spearheading the effort for decades to come.

On Saturday, the Young Professionals Advisory Council (YPAC) of the nonprofit Chrysalis hosted its inaugural Cheers to Changing Lives Cocktail Party at Expert Dojo, eclipsing a fundraising goal of $40,000 by bringing in $50,195 to the organization. YPAC was founded in 2019 with the primary goal of training the next generation of advocates and donors for Chrysalis, which is dedicated to helping people overcome barriers to entering the workforce to find and maintain a job.

The first larger-scale event hosted by YPAC, the evening was an entertainment extravaganza with live music and a DJ, food appetizers and hors d'oeuvres, and alcohol provided by corporate partners like Boomtown Brewery. Much of the fundraising also took place via a silent auction with prizes including gift certificates from Shutters on the Beach, the Casa Del Mar Hotel and the signature restaurant Lumiere Brasserie at the Fairmont Century Plaza.

In many ways, Cheers to Changing Lives is a nod to the future and the important work that will be done by organizations like Chrysalis, said Chrysalis President and CEO Mark Loranger. The event [took place] because the next generation of our business and philanthropic community is taking on leadership roles and is passionate about supporting positive change.

In its first five years of existence, YPAC has built a base of young professionals from Fortune 100 companies in industries ranging from venture capital and real estate to entertainment and technology. Following a successful 2023, YPAC has set ambitious goals for Chrysalis' 40th anniversary, shifting its strategic focus towards special events like Cheers to Changing Lives.

This all happened a few months ago, and we thought we'd give it a try and see how a larger, slightly higher scale event works for our demographic and our community, and we've been really pleased with the support we've received . so far, both from individuals wanting to join us and corporate sponsorships we've also been able to secure, said Shannon Ryan, YPAC Membership Manager.

Ryan added that YPAC professionals share the same value of truly caring about our community and are instrumental in the continued success of Chrysalis. The nonprofit partners with locals facing homelessness, impacted by the criminal justice system, and others disconnected from the workforce to provide support programs and paid transitional employment. Chrysalis employment specialists meet with individuals to evaluate career and employment options, while connecting them with resources that help overcome barriers to employment, such as housing.

Alongside this connection, which also includes services such as CV preparation and practice interviews, Chrysalis offers bridge jobs through its employment social enterprise, divided into four distinct categories. Chrysalis Staffing connects clients with Southern California employers looking for temporary workers in areas such as street cleaning services, while Chrysalis Works has street maintenance contracts with a number of districts of Los Angeles Business Improvement.

The company's other two pillars are more recent additions, with Chrysalis Roads launching in 2016 through a partnership with the Mayor's Office of Reentry and the California Department of Transportation, employing clients in highway maintenance work . Established as its own line in 2021, Chrysalis Safekeeping offers its clients housekeeping work in various settings. Together, these four areas are crucial steps for clients seeking professional maneuverability, with 1,859 clients earning $17.2 million in salary last year.

[This is] super key because we realize that for some people, they may need to beef up their CV, and working a bridge job with us is exactly [the] securing a safe space where they can do that and earn a paycheck at the same time, said Mallory Loring, Chrysalis' director of donor engagement and communications.

This range of services was a good cause for YPAC members, like Communications Manager Anam Farqui, to get behind, who was excited to help with event planning and branding for Cheers to Changing Lives.

I feel like if I wasn't involved in YPAC, I wouldn't get the same level of growth. [in my career] so I have the impression [YPAC has] “It's really helped me learn a lot from others, there are a lot of issues facing our world and it's great to be able to at least help with some of them, and I'm just grateful that Chrysalis gives us the platform to do it,” Farqui said.

For more information on YPAC and Chrysalis, visit

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