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Young professionals work toward goal of stronger Lawton

Summer Hurleyjacks has lived and worked in Lawton for nearly two decades, but a couple years ago, she started to see her city in a new light.

While helping put a fresh coat of paint on the Mattie Beal Park’s swimming pool with a group of volunteers, Hurleyjacks realized there was an entire community of like-minded young professionals working to improve the way Lawton looks, feels and operates — all while celebrating each other’s successes and encouraging connection.

A volunteer paint day was just the beginning; Hurleyjacks was hooked.

“If we’re going to be here, we have to invest in our community,” she said, “and yes, it takes time, money and effort, there’s no way around that.”

That’s exactly what Young Professionals of Lawton (YPL) seeks to do in bringing together members of the workforce ages 21-40.

Founded in 2017, the organization’s mission is to develop the next generation of leadership in the Lawton Fort Sill community while continuing to enhance the image of Lawton; as a result, attracting young career bound professionals to consider Lawton as a destination for young intellectual capital.

For Hurleyjacks, assistant coordinator of the TSET Healthy Living program at Comanche County Memorial Hospital, a group like this could not have come at a better time.

“There was definitely a need for this,” Hurleyjacks said of YPL. “We have a lot of talented and gifted people who feel they have to go to metro areas to shine, but we can keep them here and give them opportunities to grow.”

According to Tara Deavours, business development officer at BancFirst and YPL chair, the organization’s members come from all fields.

The Lawton Constitution

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