In my third year of living in Newberry, when Mary Alex and I were just newlyweds, we were convinced that we were the only people our age in this cute community that I started claiming as my own.
At the first big community meeting hosted by Westview Behavior Health Services’ Underage Drinking Coalition, I told Mayor Foster Senn that I really liked Newberry, but that I felt largely alone and disconnected from people my own age. Without a moment’s hesitation, he took me right over to Michelle Long with the Newberry County Chamber and before long, the Chamber held the first Young Professionals mixer in the summer of 2013 at the brand new bar, Half Full. I was amazed at how many Young Professionals were packed into the space, and everyone else who attended said the same.
The Newberry County Young Professionals (NYP) organizations has come a very long way in the last few years. We are now a program of the Chamber and have the ability and freedom to plan our own activities and set our own course. We organized our Board in 2015, we set our bylaws and created real membership in 2017 with 30 people. For 2018 we are already at 35 full-fledged members between the ages of 21 and 40 who live or work in Newberry County! Our members are excited to first make some new friends, and then are motivated to find places to contribute and serve. In this New Year full of promise, the Newberry County Young Professionals are going to do more, connect more and we are going to continue to fulfill our mission to make Newberry County a better place to live, work, and play for YPs.
In 2018 the NYP Board of Directors is excited to host its first semi-formal dinner for members and the community alike, greater opportunities for professional development, and its new traditions like NYP’s Giving and Tacky Christmas Sweater Party. If there is a Young Professional in your life that wants to get involved in the community, I would love the chance to get to meet them and help them find a place to belong and participate. Here’s to a great 2018 for being a young professional in Newberry County!
Robbie Kopp is the president of the Newberry County Young Professionals.