How this Birmingham medical worker made new connections through YPBirmingham


Julia Ryczak, medical technologist and member of YPBirmingham. (Nathan Watson/Bham Now)

Making new friends in an unfamiliar city can be tough, especially if your job requires you to work hours when most people your age mingle. Ask Julia Ryczak, a medical technologist working in Birmingham. Luckily for Julia, being a member of YPBirmingham gave her the opportunity to forge lasting bonds in The Magic City.

We spoke with Julia to find out more about her time as a member of YPBirmingham.

From Baltimore to Birmingham: Meet Julia Ryczak

Julia Ryczak at a YPBirmingham event at Axel Row in Avondale. (Nathan Watson/Bham Now)

Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Julia Ryczak moved to Birmingham after graduating from Auburn University. With her degree in medical technology, Julia was soon offered a job as a medical technologist at Grandview Medical Center. As a lab technician in Grandview, Julia initially encountered obstacles when it came to getting involved in the local community.

“At the time, I worked seven days in a row, then seven days off. On my days off I was traveling to see friends and family but realized that I wasn’t really making new friends or really getting involved in the community here in Birmingham. To make matters worse, I also worked evenings, which made it harder to go out and meet new people.

Julia Ryczak

That’s when she heard about YPBirmingham.

“I kept seeing someone I know posting about their involvement with YPBirmingham. I decided it was time for me to meet new people, visit new bars and restaurants in town and really make a new network of friends here in Birmingham.

Julia Ryczak

Learn more about YPBirmingham at their next social event or click here to become a member today!

Julia joined YPBirmingham in 2017

YPBirmingham social activities often include food and drink at local restaurants and bars. In this case, YPBirmingham members were able to eat at the Cantina on Wheels food truck. (Nathan Watson/Bham Now)

Right from the start, Julia made new friends and relationships at YPBirmingham’s monthly social events.

“My colleagues at the hospital were in their 50s and 60s, so they didn’t go out after work for a drink. Also, the hospital didn’t have holiday parties or happy hours. YPBirmingham social events have really filled that void in my life and given me the chance to get known and make new friends.

Julia Ryczak

As well as forming new relationships, YPBirmingham has given Julia a reason to explore Birmingham more than she ever would have on her own.

“I have a Google Doc list of all the restaurants in Birmingham I want to try, but my favorite restaurant has to be El Barrio. I’ve eaten at El Barrio a lot during the pandemic! Another restaurant I love is Eats on Highland, because everyone there is very friendly.

YPBirmingham have hosted many of their monthly Birmingham bar socials, and I particularly like The Roof at the Redmont Hotel and Carrigan’s Public House, although you can’t go wrong with a dive bar like the Mojo Pub!

Julia Ryczak

Make new relationships and friendships in The Magic City – click here to learn more about YPBirmingham membership.

Looking to make new connections in The Magic City? You must try YPBirmingham! (Nathan Watson/Bham Now)

So what are the best aspects of your involvement with YPBirmingham? For Julia, it must be the Christmas holidays.

“One year we hosted a Christmas cocktail party at the Thomas Jefferson Tower. Everyone was dressed up and dancing! Another year we hosted the Christmas Party at the Highland Golf Course with a photo booth, food and music. It all comes down to the fact that my job doesn’t have Christmas parties, so being able to dress up and go to one is really fun and special for me!

Julia Ryczak

Go out and socialize with YPBirmingham

A band performing at a recent YPBirmingham social party, held at Axel Row in Avondale. (Nathan Watson/Bham Now)

“If you want to make new connections in The Magic City, give YPBirmingham a chance. Really get out there at two or three social networks and networks. I know it’s hard to get out of your comfort zone, but it’s worth it. These people from YPBirmingham really love this city and they are very active in their community through other memberships and junior councils. YPBirmingham is the perfect opportunity to meet a new group of people you enjoy spending time with!”

Learn more about what YPBirmingham is all about at their next social event:

  • What: YPBirmingham June Social
  • Where: The Goose at Avondale, 4100 4th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35222
  • When: Wednesday, June 22, 2022 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Want to know more about YPBirmingham? Click here to learn more about joining today!

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