Young Professionals for Olmsted Parks

Applications to YPOP Class of 2024 is now closed. Stay tuned for more information on this year’s Class!

The Young Professionals for Olmsted Parks program is for individuals who are passionate for their historic parks, nonprofit management, fundraising, networking and making a difference in their community!

My experience as a member of the YPOP class of 2023 has been invaluable for both my professional development and my connection to my community. The beauty and legacy of the Olmsted Parks are a major source of pride for me as a WNY resident, and the education and engagement that YPOP provided only deepened this sentiment. As an employee of a nonprofit, I was able to connect with other members of the local nonprofit community and learn from their experiences and approaches to handling the challenges of this industry. I particularly enjoyed the Career Development Panel event and the Nonprofit Work in Buffalo Panel discussion. The conversations and connections I made at YPOP events led to my recruitment and acceptance of a new position as Operations and Development Manager at GObike Buffalo, where I get to do work that I am excited and passionate about. I highly recommend this program to any young professional who is interested in networking and becoming more involved with the organizations that make WNY a great place to live and work!
Teddy Lauzau, Operations and Development Manager, GObike | YPOP Class of 2023

Applications to YPOP Class of 2024 has closed. Thank you for your support and interest!

Program Goals

  • To raise awareness for the mission, vision and daily work of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy
  • To inspire the next generation of community members and leaders to value and appreciate public parks and green spaces
  • To encourage the next generation of community members and leaders to engage in and support Buffalo’s nonprofit sector

Expectations of being a YPOP participant

  • Attend YPOP events
  • Be willing to learn, network, have fun!
  • Actively participate and engage with your fellow YPOP participants
  • Be willing to have cultural humility and support the Conservancy’s commitment to inclusion
  • Be willing to plan and execute a fundraising campaign/event that has a minimum goal of $500
Download YPOP flyer here - JPEG
Download YPOP flyer here - PDF

Are you looking to network and learn more about nonprofit work?

Program Highlights

  • Kickoff Party
  • Olmsted 101 and 201: History & Fun!
  • Volunteer in your parks
  • Panel Discussions
  • Networking opportunities
  • Full System Park Tour
  • Nonprofit Takeovers – see below!
  • Olmsted Board Meet & Greets … and more!
YPOP History 201

Program Specifications

  • Program duration: February 2023 – October 2023
  • Suggested age range: 25 – 40
  • $250 program fee: To help cover the cost of the program, we encourage participants to request your employer to cover the fee. As a form of appreciation, BOPC will thank your company on social media and on the YPOP website. If you are unable to cover the application fee, scholarships are available upon request. Please indicate your interest in the application form
  • Accommodations can be made upon request to ensure accessibility (e.g. interpretation, translation, mobility assistance)
  • Maximum of 25 participants: To ensure the best possible experience for every participant, there will be a maximum of 25 participants for the Class of 2024

Application Timeline

  • Applications are due by January 15, 2024
  • After the application period, BOPC will reach out to applicants for a Zoom interview in the last week of January 2024

Program Highlight: Walks & Talks Series with Lauren Becker

A guided walking tour series with former National Park Service Ranger, Lauren Becker

Presented by M&T Bank, this guided walking tour series with former National Park Service Ranger, Lauren Becker, features all six major Olmsted landscapes in Buffalo’s historic park system. YPOP participants get to learn and experience Olmsted’s genius through history and park stories.

May 2024 Nonprofit Takeover: The Tool Library

Borrow Tools. Build Community.

The Tool Library shares the tools our neighbors need to create the change they want. We believe that cost shouldn’t be a barrier to fixing up your home, growing your own food, and improving your community. A membership to The Tool Library gives community members access to thousands of tools, free educational programming, and a community of doers, dreamers, and makers.

The YPOP Class of 2024 will have the opportunity to learn and engage with The Tool Library in May 2024.

Learn more about The Tool Library

August 2024 Nonprofit Takeover: Buffalo String Works

Igniting personal and community leadership through accessible music

Buffalo String Works provides free rigorous music instruction and a creative home for refugee, immigrant, and historically marginalized youth. We recognize the significance of music as a universal language, and by lifting up the voices of our students and parents, we cultivate youth to be agents of social change. At the center of our organization, the Student Leadership Program began virtually in January 2021 in response to the maturing needs and interests of BSW middle and high school students. Since then, the Student Leadership Program has grown to include three sub programs; Student Council, Practice Partners, and Advanced Ensemble. Through participation in this program, youth have the opportunity to further develop their musical and leadership skills.

The YPOP Class of 2024 will have the opportunity to experience and learn about Buffalo String Works’ mission and work in August 2024.

Learn more about Buffalo String Works

Frequently Asked Questions

How big will the class size be?

We will be accepting 25-40 participants for the Class of 2024.

Do I need any prior experience from other professional development programs to be accepted in YPOP?

No! We encourage all to apply who are passionate about their historic parks, nonprofit management, fundraising, networking and making a difference in their community.

What does the entry fee cover?

The $250 entry fee will only be due once accepted into the program. There is no fee to apply for the program. The program entry fee helps cover costs to run the nine (9) month YPOP program such as; venue costs, food and beverage, volunteer event supplies, guest speakers and more!

Can my company/organization cover the $250 program fee?

Yes! Your current company/organization can cover your program fee. To acknowledge their commitment to you and our parks, they will be listed on the website and mentioned on social media.

With regards to the Fundraising component, will we be given any tools to help us reach our goal?

Of course! We won’t leave you hanging, we promise. As part of the YPOP program, there will workshops to provide you with opportunities to learn about Fundraising in the nonprofit world, Board Participation, Conservancy staff, etc.

When will YPOP events occur? (morning, day time, evening)

YPOP events will occur either in the early part of the morning, at lunch hour or after work hours (after 5pm). All events are subject to change and will move to a virtual format, if needed.

What happens if I miss a mandatory event?

We completely understand that life happens and everyone is busy, so you will be allowed to miss one mandatory event. You will be given the complete schedule of events during the interview process in November/December. We hope that all YPOP participants will be dedicated throughout the entire program. 

Will I be able to stay involved with the Conservancy post-program?

Yes! We will discuss opportunities for you to stay involved — whether that’s joining a committee, volunteering in the parks, volunteering during a fundraising event or joining the YPOP Alumni Group.