Why Circle City Connect
There are a lot of organizations in Indy where young people can get involved, but what makes Circle City Connect different? The vibe - plain and simple. Circle City Connect was a concept that came from my experience in my hometown of Cleveland. Being born and raised in rural Ohio, I hadn’t spent a lot of time in Cleveland. After graduating and leaving my college town (Athens, Ohio), I was dead set on NOT moving to Cleveland. I thought it was old, unsafe, and run-down. Little did I know, it was a vibrant city with fun, smart, and empowering people. I joined a Young Professional organization that changed my opinion of Cleveland through the several opportunities I had to get to know and love the city...despite the lackluster sports teams and horrible winters.
Cool Jen, but we are in Indy, so….
I moved to Indy four years ago and I found it was difficult to get started in the community. Indianapolis can feel like a big, small town sometimes. People around here know each other from elementary school, high school, the gym, soccer, church, college, etc., so it can be hard as a newbie to break into those groups and find solid friendships. So, in comes Circle City Connect. I wanted to create an organization that brought people together in a relaxed environment to build relationships. My friends and I decided to make this happen through organizing events focused around Learning, Socializing and Volunteering. We had a MAJORLY successful year! We raised more than $13,500 for local non-profits, had more than 500 people attend one of our first events, and have continued to see new people and loyal followers come back for Circle City Connect events time and time again. From tours of the Catacombs under City Market to a zero-waste class, Circle City Connect hosted events you didn’t usually see in Indy. We encouraged openness and made it a point to be welcoming to anyone that wanted to be a part of our community. That is what makes Circle City Connect different and what I believe will continue to make Circle City Connect successful for years to come.
Leading the Circle City Connect Board of Directors was a pleasure and a time in my life I will never forget. I got to work with intelligent, passionate people to create a place for young community members to build new relationships, volunteer together, and learn new things about Indy. I learned a lot about how to be a better leader, about balancing professional and personal relationships, and it looked awesome on my resume - just a small bonus! I am walking away from my position a tad bummed that I will no longer be working alongside these wonderful people, but excited to experience events from the side of a member. Look out for me at the Around Towns, I can’t wait to connect!
If you are interested in becoming a Director, learn more!
Post by Jen Bensi, the current Circle City Connect President. She is a co-founder of Circle City Connect.