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Kamber Parker

Development Director, Founder of The YoPro Know

Years as a Camper:

Years as a Staff Member/Positions held: 3 (JC, SIC, Camper Services for Mariners!) 

Current Profession and Title/Years in role: Development Director at a non-profit (4 years), Founder of The YoPro Know (4 years) 

Can you provide a brief overview of your job responsibilities?  

Since I wear two hats, I’ll share both.  

As a Development Director, I spend my time fundraising, connecting with donors and sponsors, making sure all donors know where their support helps, and plan fundraising events. In other words, I connect with people all day, every day.  

As a Founder of my own business, The YoPro Know (a platform to help young professionals succeed in the workplace), it varies. I spend a lot of early mornings and weekends working (I do have my full-time job, after all!) on my blog, where I feature weekly stories and interviews with Young Professionals. I’ve actually interviewed several Camp Alumni in the past on the site. Additionally, I have a small team that works on my marketing and social media efforts while I work on strategy, sales, and trying to make a mark on the workforce by helping young professionals be successful.   

Do you have any career advice for members of our Camp community? 

Networking is not a job. In other words, networking is part of your life, not just part of your job. Wherever you go, you carry your own brand on your back, not to mention, the brand of any place you spend time at (like, Camp, for example), and that is what networking is. Embrace it like it’s part of your life, and not something you have to do for work, and it will pay off.  

What do you believe have been some of your greatest personal and professional accomplishments? Is there a goal toward which you are currently working? 

Starting my own company has certainly been an accomplishment for me. My goal for 2022 is to begin speak to companies, supporting them in their retention efforts. The current workplace is new to everyone as we embark in the post-pandemic workplace, so I’m offering support to help them better retain and engage employees.  

As a Development Director, I’ve raised nearly $350,000 each year since taking on this role with zero fundraising experience prior. Through this position, I have also had the opportunity to serve as a board member for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and volunteer for the Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s young professionals council, where I was chair of a mentoring program for two years. All of my roles have led me to several recognitions that I would not have received without my experiences (including camp!). 

How do the values or skills you learned at Camp show up in your everyday work and/or personal life?  

Being a camp counselor was one of the best decisions I ever made. To this day, I still utilize the skills I gained at Camp. At Camp, I learned that no matter what you do for your career or what industry you’re in, a job is all about how you communicate with other people. I did not realize how much it would influence my life until I started working as a young professional.  

Is there a person or a situation that had a huge influence on you while you were at Camp? How and why did they/it impact you? 

So many people impacted my time at Camp. From the very first time I set foot inside the Camp gates, I knew people were looking out for me. I really could name so many people here. However, two people really stand out to me.  

When I was a 10-year-old camper I had some health issues and didn’t think anyone knew. But, Lynn Moss checked on me every few days just to make sure I was okay. Even after that summer, and the summer after that, when I had to take a break from Camp due to my health, Lynn wrote me letters and continued to check in on me. That made me feel so special and seen – and that’s important for a young girl going through something tough.  

Fast forward a few years to my time as a counselor, Morgan Stephens really played a big role. As my supervisor on MB staff, but also a friend and basically a big sister while at Furman together, I really looked up to her and relied on her for a lot. She probably does not even know that, but I had such a cool role model at the time.  

Camp is so special and I could name a dozen more people that I looked up to and who made an impact on my life.  

What advice would you give your younger self? 

Don’t stress about the little things! Just worry about being kind to others (and yourself) and you’ll be okay. 

Another important thing to remember: always give back. Whether it’s your time or money, people need your help and it’s important to make it a part of your life.  

Favorite Camp meal: Oreo pie! 

Favorite mess hall song: Goldilocks and the 3 bears!

Favorite special event at Camp: I always loved a good campfire night! 

Do you have a hidden talent? I can finish a Sudoku puzzle in under 1 minute (thanks to all of that rest period time for practice)  

What three words best describe you? Connector, Relational, Includer 

What profession other than your own would you like to try? TV Anchor 

What would you eat if you could only have one food for the rest of your life? Crab cakes (I’m from Maryland!)