Get Involved: Join the Young Planners Group

APA realizes the importance of cultivating and inspiring the next generation of leaders and innovators for the organization and the planning field.

The Young Planners Group (YPG) plays a critical role in doing this and APA provides support, training, and opportunities for knowledge exchange among YPGs across our chapter. 

What is the Young Planners Group?

YPGs are a community within the APA, which focuses on providing young planners or emerging professionals with guidance, resources, and professional opportunities so that they can excel in their professional careers and become the planning leaders of the future. Young planners are those between the ages of 18 and 35 years old.

Why a Young Planners Group in Arizona?

  • Address growing needs of young planners
  • Cultivate and inspire next generation of leaders
  • Mentorship and community outreach
  • Foundation for Arizona’s young planners to build relationships from the bottom

APA Arizona Mentorship Program

The goal of mentoring at APA is to develop the next generation of planning professionals by pairing experienced individuals with those who want to learn more about their chosen profession, whom are either early in their professional careers or students interested in the field. APA believes that supporting healthy relationships between mentors and mentees provides immediate and long-term benefits for the individuals and the profession. APA Arizona’s Mentorship Program format is a combination of one-on-one, group, and network types to provide the best experience for all those involved.

Why Mentor?

By serving in a mentoring role in the complex world of planning, you are furthering professional development and shaping the future of planning. As an advocate, a mentor can help a mentee by providing knowledgeable and strategic advice, and a mentor can offer the perspectives that come only from experience to encourage the mentee to build on core capabilities or pursue an innovative opportunity. Each relationship is different.

  • Increase retention and development of knowledge and intellectual capital
  • Individual growth and development
  • Enhance leadership skills
  • Gain a sense of renewed purpose and/or approach to problem-solving
  • Share wisdom and find new perspectives
  • Use as a tool for succession planning
  • Claim pro bono CM credits

Why Be a Mentee?

Make the most of your student membership with APA. The classroom may not fully prepare you for the working world. Taking part in a mentoring relationship is the bridge between practical and applied knowledge. As a mentee, you will grow your personal and professional knowledge and network. Your participation is a way to form a professional connection that can lead to opportunities beyond a typical job search.

  • Focus on your career path and long-term goals
  • Get advice based on real-world experiences
  • Create a lasting professional relationship
  • Gain a new approach to problem-solving
  • Get insight from alternative areas

How to Apply

Please click here to complete Arizona Mentorship Program Application.

The application deadline is 4:00 pm, September 27, 2019. Due to limited availability, please fill out the application as thoroughly as possible to aid in the selection process. If you are a student applying, a faculty letter of recommendation must be submitted by the deadline to in order to be considered.

APA Arizona Mentorship Program Schedule 

Program workshops will be held the second Wednesday of every month from 7:00 to 9:00 am at a centralized location in Phoenix, AZ.

If you or your organization are interested in sponsoring one of the Mentorship Program activities please reach out to

August 2019 – Mentor/Mentee Applications are available

September 2019 – Application Deadline (September 27, 2019 at 4:00 pm)

October 2019 – Kickoff Event/Happy Hour at The Churchill (October 22, 2019, 5:30 to 7:30 pm @ 901 N. 1st Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004)

This will be a networking type event where you can meet your mentor/mentee in person, as well as others participating in the program alongside you.

November 2019 – SMART Goal Setting Workshop

This workshop with start the discussion between mentor and mentee. What do they hope to gain from the experience? What skills could be achieved for professional development? They will:

  • Identify two career development and two personal growth goals for the mentee
  • Set three goals for the mentor/mentee relationship

This workshop will end with a round table discussion sharing with the group what goals you have set.

December 2019 – APA Arizona Holiday Networking Event (Date/Time, Location TBA)

February 2020 - Resume/Interview Workshop

Resumes and good interview skills are critical in making a lasting impression and getting the job! This workshop will:

  • Allow mentees to receive constructive criticism to improve their resumes
  • Allow mentors and mentees to discuss pro/cons of utilizing certain techniques in writing resumes and cover letters
  • Provide a discussion on different types of questions that may be asked during an interview and how best to prepare

This workshop will end with a round table discussion sharing the good, bad, and ugly interviewing experiences mentors have had and what they have learned from those experiences.

March 2020 – Volunteer Day with Feed My Starving Children (March 13, 2020, 1:00 to 3:00 pm @ 1345 S. Alma School Road, Mesa, AZ 85210)

Volunteer Day is a great way to interact with your mentor/mentee in a less formal environment while doing a service for the community.

April 2020 – Q & A/Next Steps Workshop

This workshop provides an open forum for mentees to ask questions of all the mentors, and gain a better understanding of the different types of planning, the different sectors, and get insight into the numerous career paths mentors have taken to get where they are in their careers. It will also be an opportunity for mentor/mentee to address the goals they set at the beginning of the program. Did they achieve them? What could have been done differently? What new goals will you set for yourself moving forward?

May 2020 – Mentorship Program Final Event (in conjunction with APA Arizona Spring Networking Event)

APA Arizona Mentorship Program Guidelines

*Attend all scheduled program activities

  • If unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances, you will notify the APA AZ Mentorship Program Director and implement and document activity with mentor/mentee.
*Communicate with mentor/mentee at least once a month via phone/email/in-person (outside of the scheduled events), and document advice that was shared

*Additional activities may include but are not limited to:

  • Job shadowing
  • Attending Community Meetings/Events