Adventures in Indy: Pride, Primavera, and Plants

Written by: Sidney Hill-Kartel

Before Orr Fellows kicked off this two-year journey, our lives were filled with college extracurriculars, busy friend groups, internships, and more. As we have transitioned into the working world, many of us continue to fill our plates both inside and outside of standard business hours with things that bring us joy. 

As a fellow, I don’t think I will ever fully be able to express the gratitude I have for this organization and the ways it has allowed me to plug into the Indianapolis (business) community and a vast network of diverse peers. The fellowship does a great job at providing meaningful experiences that propel fellows professionally that are frequently highlighted (Business Leaders Speaker Series, Advisa leadership training, internal leadership opportunities, and exclusive networking events are just a few).

However, in my opinion, the biggest value Orr Fellowship has provided me with has been the friendships I have developed outside of these mandatory events. The Fellowship Fun series will showcase the ways fellows are developing authentic relationships, exploring the city, and put most simply, having fun. 


There is something special about how Indy celebrates Pride Month. There is an electricity in the city that draws folks in to foster joy in areas of authenticity. This June, fellows participated in and attended the Indy Pride Parade and Festival together. Several partner companies had floats, giving fellows the opportunity to ride along in the parade. Others cheered with admiration from the route in groups. 


What a unique opportunity to stay in a massive (14+ room) cabin with all of your friends. Spring Retreat (or retiro de primavera in Spanish—we did it for the alliteration), previously Winter Retreat, is a 3-day excursion gathering fellows for community building outside of Indianapolis; this year we headed to Red River Gorge, KY. This ‘break from reality’ gives the time and space to show up without having to rush off to the next thing. 

To kick off spring retreat, fellows had the opportunity to participate in the talent show.  From spoken word poetry to teaching how to make a balloon animal, a pushup contest and musical performances, the variety of talent in Orr Fellowship is far from boring. I thoroughly enjoyed the unique talents fellows brought to the stage.

TREE PLANTING – Keep Indianapolis Beautiful

Community engagement is important to the foundation of the fellow experience. In the fall, fellows gathered for a morning of volunteering near Fountain Square to plant trees in the neighborhood. Keep Indianapolis Beautiful is a local non-profit with the ‘mission to engage diverse communities to create vibrant public places, helping people and nature thrive.
Volunteering is one of my favorite ways to connect; through a servant mindset, you learn alot about the people you’re collaborating with and what got them engaged to come out. While it was chilly and rainy, that didn’t stop the fun. After our shoes were caked with mud, we hopped over to share brunch together. 

Orr Fellowship is more than a professional development program. It is more than a job or title. It is a vibrant community that makes lasting friendships and memories and we’re excited to continue to share these experiences with you.

Stay tuned for more highlights of Fellowship Fun!