MRPA helps students get involved


From Left -Emma Atkins, Tim Church and Eric Crause

The Michigan Parks and Recreation Association (MRPA) is an organization that allows everyone in the Livingston County to help each other out. From Nov. 6-8, MRPA hosted a youth symposium in Detroit. This event allowed high school and middle school students a chance to make an impact in the neighborhood they live in, create more opportunities for their futures, and become more involved with their community.

Junior James Griffin has been a part of the MRPA program since he was in 6th grade and has been attending the youth symposium since 8th grade.

“The program overall is a great way to meet people and get volunteer hours without feeling like you’re working,” Griffin says. “I probably have over 400 volunteer hours.”

The youth symposium mainly offers students the ability to have fun while networking. Networking is the act of building work friendships.

“The youth symposium is a fun way to meet people that you can get in touch with for future jobs,” Griffin says.

Griffin isn’t the only student in Howell who has been a part of the MRPA program for many years. Senior Emma Atkins has also been a part of MRPA since 8th grade and has been attending the youth symposium since 9th grade.

“The program has helped me get so many volunteer hours,” Atkins says. “It’s also a great way to meet outgoing people and where I’ve met some of my closest friends.”

The mission for the Student Focus Area of MRPA is to educate, expose, and engage students in the field of parks and recreation. They do this by providing workshops and education, promoting professional development among students, providing opportunities for students to get involved in the field, and providing the opportunity for the exchange of information regarding current trends, issues, and topics important to students.

“We help out in events like melon fest and the headless horseman race in Howell,” Atkins says.

MPark’s students receive many benefits such as, scholarship opportunities, volunteer and stewardship opportunities, student-specific networking events (youth symposium), access to job postings in the mParks career center, special resume/career preparation opportunities, and many more.

Senior, Lewis Deisler has been volunteering for the MRPA program since 8th grade. The program mainly helped him improve his social skills.

“I’ve gotten a job as the building site supervisor for the mParks program,” Deisler says, “I help out with building rentals and their sports events they host.”

To be a part of MRPA there is a student membership fee of only $35. Apply online today or call the mParks office for more information at 517-485-9888.