SPAWAR’s New Professionals help build community

By Maison Piedfort | Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command | Dec. 11, 2018

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. — Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic’s newest employees volunteered for Habitat for Humanity Nov. 10, 2018, in North Charleston, S.C.

Approximately 20 New Professionals, recent graduates hired at SSC Atlantic, and other employees, attended the event to help local neighbors and establish cohesiveness within the NP community.

“It’s the first community service-oriented event we’ve had,” said scientist Georgianna Campbell, events coordinator for the New Professional Council Atlantic. “People were really enthusiastic to get involved with their community and give back.”

NPs were given the option to sign up for a morning four-hour shift or an afternoon four-hour shift. 

“My fiancée and I spent our Saturday morning volunteering with New Professionals because we love getting to do manual labor and working with our hands to serve others,” said NP engineer Cody Tharpe. “There’s no better way to start off the weekend than getting your hands a little dirty for a great cause.”

Another NP, computer engineer Kaitlyn Bub, enjoyed the social aspects of volunteering. “I had never worked with Habitat for Humanity before and heard great things about their volunteer efforts,” said Bub. “I thought it’d be a great way to meet and work with coworkers outside the office.”

NPs spent the day moving large rocks from the backyard so the future owners could mow their lawn safely. They also helped lay down cement blocks for the foundation on another house.

When asked whether they would recommend their colleagues come out and join the next build, both Tharpe and Bub said they would. 

“I would absolutely recommend volunteering. I enjoyed the build and had a great time meeting other SSC Atlantic employees,” said Tharpe. 

“Even though we were all covered in mud after volunteering, it is a great way to give to the community and meet people within SSC Atlantic,” said Bub. 

This is the first time SSC Atlantic NPs have partnered with Charleston Habitat for Humanity, but Campbell hopes it won’t be the last. 

“It took a lot of planning and work behind the scenes, but I’m hoping this is something we can do at least once a year,” said Campbell.

Campbell, who started planning events for NPs a year ago, said her original goal was to get NPs meeting each other out of the office. 

“Sometimes it’s easier to get to know someone outside the office,” said Campbell. “There’s definitely a networking aspect to these events.”

Just in the past year, Campbell has coordinated happy hours, bowling nights, trivia nights, Charleston Riverdogs games and other social events for NPs. 

Many NPs contacted Campbell after the volunteer day to express their enthusiasm at being given the chance to volunteer and meet other NPs. 

“My favorite part of volunteering was hanging out with the other New Professionals,” said Bub. “I have been to some of the events before so I recognized a few faces.”

Of SSC Atlantic’s 675 total hires in 2018, 148 are New Professionals, who are actively recruited to help SSC Atlantic employ, develop and retain a credentialed workforce and build technical leadership for the benefit of the warfighter.