April Young Professional Spotlight
Meet Janel Page
Occupation: Communications & Marketing Manager
Organization: McMains Children’s Developmental Center
Tell us a little about your Baton Rouge Story. What brought you to Baton Rouge?
I spent most of my childhood in Baton Rouge, but I completed my undergraduate and graduate studies at Southeastern Louisiana University then moved to South Carolina, so I never experienced living in Baton Rouge as an adult until I moved back in 2017. If I’m being completely candid, while I was excited for my job, I was not completely psyched to be back in Baton Rouge. For the first month I was back all I could see where the reasons I left in the first place. But, like anything else, what you get out of Baton Rouge solely depends on what you put into your community, and once I got involved and explored everything this city has to offer, I completely fell in love!
Tell us more about how you’re involved in Baton Rouge.
I am currently the Communications & Marketing Manager at McMains Children’s Developmental Center, which is a nonprofit, outpatient pediatric therapy clinic that serves children with disabilities and developmental delays. I am also the Vice President of Arts & Culture for Forum 35, Communications Chair of Club Blue, and a member of the Junior League of Baton Rouge.
What is your favorite thing about Baton Rouge?
My favorite thing about Baton Rouge is the unwavering pride citizens feel for the city and the way we come together as a community, despite our differences. When someone is in trouble, whether you know them or not, the Baton Rouge community is always there.
What is your dream for Baton Rouge?
My dream for Baton Rouge is that the city continues to move forward and that it gets out of its own way. Baton Rouge is the Capital City of Louisiana, but is often underestimated. My dream is that the city unifies and uses all of the untapped resources just waiting to catapult the city to the next level.
How are young professionals like yourself shaping Baton Rouge?
Young professionals are shaping everything in Baton Rouge! The young professional community of today is more engaged civically, philanthropically, and economically than ever before and it is so phenomenal.
What would you say to someone considering a move to Baton Rouge?
Get connected! Joining Forum 35 was the best decision I made moving back to Baton Rouge, because seeing other young professionals so passionate about bettering the community made me very curious to learn what they thought was so special about the city. I am very glad that I leaned in and found that answer. You have to fully embrace Baton Rouge to really appreciate it, and new friends are the best way to learn the idiosyncrasies of a city.
What is your Baton Rouge favorite?
- Place to eat: Stroubes
- Place to hang out: By day I love local coffee shops like Brew Ha Ha, French Truck, and Lighthouse Coffee, but at night I love grabbing craft cocktails at Hayride Scandal and Olive or Twist.
- Place to capture the perfect Instagram pic: Anywhere with great lighting!
- Place to people watch: Everywhere! Baton Rouge has such a great mix of people.
- Place to network: I’m a total people-person, so everywhere is a networking opportunity! But I will say, if you are looking to branch out, pick an organization and I can guarantee they have a happy hour. Forum 35, Club Blue, and Junior League meetings/socials are my favorite.
- Way to give back: I’m all about investing in the next generation, so there is a special place in my heart for mentoring programs. I am also fortunate enough to see incredible milestones like children walking for the first time and seeing their parents’ eyes fill with tears when their child can finally say “I love you,” so I encourage everyone to give to McMains Children’s Developmental Center.
- Event: Sips & Suds at the Stables benefitting McMains Children’s Developmental Center and the Great Futures Gala benefitting Boys & Girls Club.
With significant job growth, a bustling arts scene, delectable cuisine, abundant outdoor activities and more, the Capital Region attracts talent of all ages, including young professionals. Whether straight out of college or looking to establish their own business, more and more young professionals are choosing to lay their roots in Baton Rouge.
Each month, BRAC highlights one of these young Baton Rouge Area movers and shakers in the Young Professional Spotlight.