Sampson County has a lot to offer the young professionals who are looking at calling this county home for many years to come.
The Young Professionals organization is working to help make that decision easier by connecting local citizens together with various businesses and organizations throughout the county. According to steering committee member Alison Carr, in the last year, the organization has connected more than 100 local individuals.
“In the last year, the Young Professionals organization has worked to connect over 100 local citizens between the ages of 22-40 years old,” Carr said. “By doing so, we have been able to strengthen the community by allowing these young people to network, promote their businesses and organizations, and find peers that they may otherwise never have crossed paths with. Connecting these individuals with one another will hopefully have the effect of keeping them in our community and having them call Sampson County home for many years to come.”
The annual kick-off event for the upcoming year of Young Professionals is scheduled for July 21 from 6-8 p.m. at Timberlake Pool and Clubhouse. This event is open to current members and their families, but those interested in joining the organizations are invited to come out and meet other members.
The Young Professionals organization, Carr said, has helped the community at large through many projects, such as partnering with the Downtown Clinton Committee and planning department to help clean up the downtown area and landscape around the courthouse.
“We have also participated at the First Baptist Church Soup Kitchen and had a wonderful Back to School Bash in August where we collected school supplies for both the Clinton and Sampson County School systems,” Carr shared. “Our organization also attempts to keep its members informed of other volunteer and community service opportunities happening throughout the year in Sampson County.”
According to Carr, one of the biggest benefits of participating in the Young Professionals organization is getting the opportunity to network with others in your same age group.
“Our members can relate to one another as many are starting new businesses, or just getting their feet wet in the work force, while also raising young families,” Carr attested. “While we do offer many community service and professional development opportunities, we believe it is equally important to provide our members with social activities to strengthen those relationships.”
Throughout the past year, many of the organization’s members have attended Business After Hours and ribbon cutting events hosted by the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce. They have also volunteered at the First Baptist Soup Kitchen as well as working to clean up and landscape Downtown Clinton.
“Our biggest community service project, which we hope to make an annual event, was the Back to School Bash hosted by Ribeyes of Clinton last August,” Carr said. “Members came out for a fun filled day of kid’s activities while also donating sorely needed school supplies to our local teachers.”
Many other social events, including a mixer at the Ashford Inn, a Tacky Sweater Christmas party, and most recently a night out at a Durham Bulls game, have been held as a way for members to get together for a time of fun and fellowship.
Members of the steering committee are Janna Bass from Sampson Community College, Amber Cava from Sampson Regional Medical Center, Catherine Ezzell from Ezzell Trucking, Carr from Howard & Bradshaw, PLLC, Martin Jackson of First Citizens Bank, Brandon Strickland of RSS Farms, Inc. and Chris Driver of the Sampson County Clerk of Courts office.
For those interested in becoming a member of the organization, visit the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce website (www.clintonsampsonchamber.org) and click on the Young Professionals tab to access the membership application. The organization welcomes local businesses to sign up to sponsor the organization this year to allow for more events and professional development opportunities.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.