A Community of Caring
Written by Hunter Brown on June 30th 2020.
As the world around us continued to shift and we saw young people adapting to the ebb and flow, we wanted to recognize their unheralded achievements. We partnered with Palmetto Vermiculite to create the first ever SYP Community Cares Award. Members of the community nominated people age 21-40 from Spartanburg County whom they believed were going above and beyond during the Covid-19 pandemic. After reviewing all of the amazing submissions, our board voted on the inaugural recipients. We are proud to introduce to you Junior Salters, Hannah Jarrett, and Victor Durrah Jr.
We wanted you to get to know them a little better, so we asked each of them to answer the following questions and this is what they had to say.
1. Where do you work and what is your job title?
Junior - Global Senior Account Manager at Milliken & Company
Hannah - Director of Financial Stability Strategy at United Way of the Piedmont
Victor - Executive Director of Brothers Restoring Urban Hope, Inc.
2. What is your favorite thing about our Spartanburg community?
Junior – “Our resilience. Spartanburg has been through many changes in a short period of time, but has steadily improved and I believe will continue in many ways including socioeconomic.”
Hannah – “I love the collaborative spirit of the Spartanburg community and that the people who live here are at the heart of conversations and decisions.”
Victor – “I'm super proud of the Spartanburg grassroots community and their efforts during this pandemic. It's been great to see in the last couple of months how the front-line community workers have taken the community on its back during these pivotal times. I’ve witnessed many organizations feeding families at need, delivering homework to kids that don’t have transportation, hosting virtual community sessions geared towards resource sharing, and even honoring lives lost due to racial injustices with commemorative BLM art murals. It affirms my thoughts that even small ripples can make big waves.”
3. Why do you feel it is important to give back to your community?
Junior – “I think it is important because it not only provides you with a sense of ownership and responsibility in your own city, but also allows you to stay in tune with what's really going on in your community.”
Hannah - “I believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive (not just survive), so I try to live my life in service to my community to make this a reality for more people.”
Victor- “Giving back is its own gift. It connects us deeply with ourselves and with those around us. Giving makes others feel good and in return it makes me feel good. I don’t know where I would be in life without the generous help of others.”
4. What do you feel is your greatest achievement?
Junior – “My greatest achievement has been being an active father in my children's lives.”
Hannah - “After I graduated from college, I served for three years as an AmeriCorps VISTA here in Spartanburg at United Way of the Piedmont. VISTA is a national volunteer service program, similar to the Peace Corps. I grew both personally and professionally from that experience, and I’m proud of myself for everything I learned and accomplished during that time. I would not be who I am or where I am now without it.”
Victor – “I feel like my greatest achievement has been being able to see God in all that I do. Jesus is truly the reason that I’m able to be who I am. Even this platform was given for his Glory.”
5. If you could give advice to other young professionals, what would it be?
Junior – “Do your best in the job you have. While you may hope to get promoted or make it to the next step, use that job you're in to hone the skills necessary to excel at that next level.”
Hannah – “Love where you live and who you live here with – through both your actions and words. If this is the foundation of your decisions and actions, only good things can come.”
Victor - “I would let him or her know that opportunities don't just happen, you make them. If not you, then who? If not now, then when? Your big opportunity may be right where you are now!”
6. What do you look forward to seeing more of in our community?
Junior - “I look forward to seeing more young professionals participate in our community as we are the next generation of leaders to take Spartanburg to the next level and build on top of what current leadership is achieving.”
Hannah - “I look forward to the conversations had and decisions we will make to become a more equitable community.”
Victor – “I'm loving the synergy of the Burg right now, and I hope we keep up the momentum. We have a lot of work to do, especially with the current pandemics that we are facing. However, I truly feel that our collaborative spirit as a community, and our young professional presence puts us in a great position to do great things here in Spartanburg. I can’t wait to see how much more we accomplish together.”