Do You Want to Get Involved in Charlotte? Here’s How and Why.

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By: Derek Bastien


How: Come to the 2nd Annual Charlotte YP Mixer on Thursday, October 20th.

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This Thursday, October 20th is the 2nd Annual Charlotte YP Mixer at The Mint Museum Uptown, hosted by the Young Affiliates of the Mint (YAM) and sponsored by EatWorkPlay. The Young Affiliates of the Mint is Charlotte’s oldest Young Professional organization and consists of a diverse group of professionals promoting and supporting the Mint Museum and arts in the Charlotte community.

The purpose of the event is to bring together every single Young Professional (YP) organization in Charlotte for a truly city-wide mixer that offers young professionals all of the different avenues to get involved in the community.

Who: 33 YP Organizations and over 400 Participants Expected

Last year, the YAMs successfully hosted their first city-wide mixer and had 22 YP Organizations and over 300 attendees. This year, there are 33 confirmed organizations, anticipated attendance is expected to surpass 400 people, and there will be music and cocktails.

Why You Should Go: 4 Simple Reasons

#1 Meet Cool People

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It’s no secret that YP Organizations are a great way to expand your social horizon and meet a lot of new young professionals. Almost all of my close, personal friends I have met through my community involvement, and I even know many married couples (and went to their weddings) who first met through the YAMs or another YP Organization.

So basically, worst case scenario, you meet cool people and make friends. Best case, you find the love of your life (literally).

#2 Find a cause that is your passion

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Almost all of the YP Organizations in Charlotte are either their own non-profit or a subsidiary of an established non-profit. What I love about this Mixer and the organizations that attend is that while we all have different focuses, we all share the same vision: to make our communities, our city, and country a better place to live. Add into the mix collaborating with people you love, and you have a wonderful combination.

#3 Networking

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If you’ve been in Charlotte long enough, you’ve very quickly realized that “Charlotte is small.” Of course, Charlotte isn’t actually a small town, but it certainly feels that way after you start regularly running into people you know or meeting people with whom you share many mutual connections.

Certainly, this can work to your disadvantage. As a mentor once wisely told me, “Never burn bridges in Charlotte, Derek. It’s a small city. Trust me, Derek…it’s a smaaaaall city…" (Insert crying laughing emoji).

But… it can also very much work to your advantage.

After you know the right people, you can be one to two degrees away from almost everyone you meet. As an example, my 2nd job as a consultant at a Big 4: I only got because a fellow YAM had referred and vouched for me, and I hadn’t even joined the YAMs for career or business purposes whatsoever.

The moral of the story: some of the most well-connected Young Professionals I have ever met in Charlotte not only are involved in Young Professional groups, but have already confirmed with me that they will be there Thursday. And you can become friends with them.

#4 Last, but certainly not least, make Charlotte your home.

I did some reflecting this past summer. It had been just over 3 years since I had moved here, and I looked back upon the last 3 years while reminiscing on many of my favorite photos and memories.

And I realized that almost all of my favorite events, memories, and people (included above): they all stemmed from my involvement in Young Professional organizations, especially the Young Affiliates of the Mint for me personally. The first two collages are ALL official or unofficial YAM events I attended and absolutely cherished. And the third is a collage of many of the YP Organizations that serve as a foundation for our city.

And so, what ultimately led me to calling Charlotte my home wasn’t my career or other extracurriculars. No, it was being involved in a community of people making Charlotte a better place. It was being involved with a group of people with similar passions and world outlooks.

It was becoming friends with some truly incredible people that I know will last a lifetime. And it was finding that the beauty of life lies in those beautiful moments where you are with the people you love doing what you love.

Get connected. Give back. Find your home.

For me, The YAMs happened to be the first YP organization I personally joined, and I now serve on their Board because of how much I connected with the people and mission. I also happen to actually be the co-organizer and founder of this very Mixer on behalf of the YAMs because of just how passionate I have become about the YP scene here in Charlotte for the very reasons listed above. I love these people and organizations, and I hope you come to the Mixer and find out why.

So for me, it was the Young Affiliates of the Mint that made Charlotte my home, but for many others, it was one or several of the 33 different YP Organizations that will be at the Charlotte YP Mixer this Thursday. So whatever your passion or interests, I hope you join me and over 400 others in seeing what Charlotte has to offer and how YOU can also get connected, give back, and find your home.

You can buy your ticket and RSVP here. Tickets go up after Wed, Oct 19th at midnight, and limited door tickets will be available.

Who else is going? Check out the Facebook event.  

Attending YP Organizations at the 2nd Annual Charlotte YP Mixer.

  1. Young Affiliates of the Mint (Host)

  2. The Charlotte Chamber Young Professionals

  3. United Way Young Leaders

  4. United Way LINC

  5. Charlotte City Club Young Professionals

  6. The Young Professionals @ International House

  7. Guys with Ties Charlotte

  8. Habitat Young Professionals of Charlotte (HYPC)

  9. JWU Corks & Forks Scholarship Society

  10. Urban League of Central Carolinas Young Professionals

  11. The Magellan Society

  12. The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc.

  13. Mecklenburg Country Young Republicans

  14. Young Democrats of Mecklenburg County

  15. ASC Young Donor Society

  16. Bechtler Young Visionaries

  17. Pulse: The Young Affiliates of the Charlotte Symphony

  18. Kiwanis Uptown

  19. Next Generation Gantt

  20. Charlotte Evening Rotary


  22. Sustain Charlotte Community Corps

  23. Humane Society of Charlotte Young Affiliated Professionals (HSC-YAP)

  24. YNPN Charlotte

  25. The National MS Society

  26. Safe Alliance Young Professionals Network

  27. The First Tee of Greater Charlotte Ambassadors

  28. American Cancer Society - Relay for Life

  29. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

  30. Urban Ministry Center Urbanites

  31. AAF Charlotte

  32. Big Brothers Big Sisters

  33. Young Ambassadors Group of Council for Children’s Rights


Written by Derek Bastien

People-person, creative free spirit, and professional socializer.