Name: Parker Grissom
Major / Minor: Exercise Science & Entrepreneurship
Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
Random Facts: His eyes are TEAL. He owns 12 fish, two frogs and two anoles. He caught all of his pets outdoors, except for the fish of course. He enjoys hanging out in the UNCW dining halls. In his freshman year, he wore sunglasses all day long, even in class!
Everybody knows Parker G, and somehow he seems to know everyone that knows him. While conducting this interview in the student union, more than half a dozen people stopped to say hello, and see what he was up to. Parker not only knew these students by name, but he could hold genuine conversations with them. He’s a leader, an athlete, an entrepreneur, a musician, and last but not least, an optimist. But what makes him such an outgoing and memorable guy? Read on to find out!
Parker is the President of a radical, enthusiastic, and spirited Student Organization : The Flyest Flock of Screamin’ Seahawks (FFSS). The organization is the heart of the student spirit section at UNCW Athletic events, and if you attend a game, they aren’t easy to ignore. At the recent “Feel My Teal” basketball game versus Hofstra, Parker and the FFSS were front and center in the stands, decked out in teal, and other eye-catching gear including colorful wigs, board shorts, and sunglasses. Members of the organization receive customized wristbands, tees, pom-poms and other sweet spirit stuff. Any student is welcome to join “The Flock,” dues range between $10-$20. Find them on Facebook!
When he’s not getting crowds rowdy at games, Parker enjoys getting into action himself, as a member of UNCW Club Ultimate Frisbee – currently 18th in the nation. Last year they ranked fifth. Parker says, “Chapel Hill is our rival, and they are currently ranked number one, apparently we are the only team that can beat them.” Parker first played on the “Developmental Ultimate Frisbee team,” and then went on to found the “B Team” (think J.V.) He is now a Cutter on the Varsity Team. PG plans on taking his skills to the ultimate level after college, “College club Frisbee is preparing me for the pros.”
Parker G gets down to business. His entrepreneurship, Advocare, operates by using a multi-level marketing strategy. The product? Nutritional Supplements (think Herbalife). Parker says he gets business not through advertisements, but by creating relationships, “I can get anyone to do anything through communication.” A sampling of his customers includes UNCW students, athletes and coaches. Parker’s vision is to institutionalize Advocare and expand his market.
In the previous summers, he acted as an entrepreneur by running his own business selling school curriculum.
“I spent about 80 hours a week biking through Kansas,” Parker details, “I made $20,000 and was able to buy a car.”
This year, he is the poster child for UNCW’S Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, or CIE (that building you see on South College Road next to Cookout). This is because he is one of the first non-business students to pursue the Entrepreneurship minor, a new program of the university.
PG also has a passion for service. Since his freshman year, he has volunteered at the on-campus green house next to Friday Hall for about an hour a week. Soon, he will begin work at the YMCA where he will coach and referee for various children’s sports as well as train others in fitness.
Ladies, he has a mixtape. “The Introduction” is available online and in a physical CD format. Parker says the first track is a thorough description of him and could qualify as his theme song. Last year, he performed a solo as the opening act of Schwoodstock, a spring music festival at UNCW, and plans to appear again this year. PG says his Hip-Hop group is currently “in the works.”
You can check out Parker’s music here:
Parker notes that he started to gain recognition as an icon of sorts around campus at this time. He says the secret to being memorable is to, “start by introducing yourself. Planting seeds, and sharing positive energy in every conversation.” PG recounts one occasion in which he randomly began rapping to someone as a first-time introduction.
Two of his favorite quotations are:
“If you change the way look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer, and,
“Our only limitations are those we set up in our own minds.” – Napoleon Hill.
Parker’s advice to Seahawks is, “Try to get involved in as many student orgs as you can, play a club sport and go to on-campus (especially ACE) events. That way you can meet people and network. Utilize all the chances you get to meet new people and get their phone numbers. You will use your connections in your junior and senior years to help further your career.
Presently in his fourth year at UNCW, Parker plans on being a Super Senior. After graduation, PG plans on receiving his Green Building Assessment Certification through Cape Fear. He will use this, and other certifications, to become the leader of a self-sustaining firm that manages sources such as solar and wind energy, and aquaphonics (using fish waste to fertilize plants).
Parker is first and foremost, an optimist. His personality is enlightening, and philosophy inspiring. He is driven by his potential and possibilities that wait in the future. When asked what sets him apart from most students, PG replied, “acting on my dreams and not being afraid to exercise what I believe in.” After his first semester at UNCW, Parker discovered The Eight-Fold Path of Buddhism, started meditating and wearing a bright orange Shaolin Monk’s garb to class. He gained inspiration and workout guidance from “a 28-day workout book called Warrior’s Way, written by a Shaolin Monk,” says Parker.