Emma Odren is the Membership and Programs Manager at Philanthropy Delaware, as well as this week’s #PeopleOfWilmDE. Read more of her story below.
“My parents moved to the Wilmington suburbs when I was two years old for my dad’s job and I have stayed in the area. After completing undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Delaware, I started a job in Downtown Wilmington and moved into the city. I’ve been here about 3 years.
I love all the summer festivals that happen in Wilmington. I went to the Greek Festival last week and have been enjoying the Italian Festival this week. There’s so much delicious food and it’s great to catch up with old friends! I also love exploring all of the new restaurants and shops that open up. One place in particular that I am very excited about opening this summer is Hell’s Belles Bake Shop, which is going to be located on Union Street. My friend’s sister is the co-owner, and I’ve already sampled some of their tasty treats which makes me even more excited for when they are finally going to open! The apricot crumb bar is delicious!
Wilmington has the advantage of being small but having all the amenities of city life. When I moved to Wilmington and started my career, I quickly saw that advantage—you run into business leaders, nonprofit organizers, and government employees all while grabbing lunch. I continue to choose Wilmington because I love being able to walk to work! That’s been especially helpful with the current gas prices. I also love being able to head over to happy hour after work for drinks with friends. It’s great to have everything I need within walking distance.
I’m really excited about the growth happening in Wilmington! I was a research analyst in my prior role and the statistic that stuck out about Wilmington was that Downtown Wilmington’s millennial population increased by nearly 15% between 2014 and 2019. It’s great to have more and more friends moving into the city. I’d love to see a continuation of growth when it comes to housing. Affordable housing is a nationwide issue, but it is definitely acute in Wilmington. There are some exciting projects to tackle blight, and I hope their success contributes to a more sustainable, equitable growth of the city.
My advice to Wilmingtonians: Explore the city! I grew up in the area and went to Padua for high school, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized all the city has to offer.”