New ESCC Foundation Members


Additions Bring a Broad Range of Experience to the Foundation

Eastern Shore Community College Foundation recently welcomed four new members to their Board of Directors. Karen Downing, Darrien Jamar, Barbara Parker, and Marcus Riley were elected to serve three-year terms starting January 2022.

Karen Downing has a passion for education and believes strongly that it can elevate people. She is particularly interested in drawing more students to Eastern Shore Community College (ESCC)  to build a strong workforce to support Shore businesses. Karen is engaged with numerous community activities and organizations that promote equity, diversity, and inclusion. She has extensive experience and expertise as a community organizer and is well-connected to the faith-based community, as well as a wide range of health and education organizations dedicated to improving the well-being of all who live and work on the Eastern Shore. 

Dr. Darrien Jamar grew up in Accomack County and now resides in Washington, D.C. where they practice as a Doctor of Chiropractic, Reiki Practitioner and Life Coach.  Staying connected and contributing to the Eastern Shore is important to Dr. Darrien as they have organized, hosted, and spoken to students at Arcadia, Nandua, and Chincoteague high schools with the intention to inspire, encourage and highlight the benefits of higher education. Dr. Darrien founded The 3:20 Scholarship in March of 2018 to support graduates from Accomack County Public Schools as they pursue higher education.  Each year funds are specifically granted towards students attending ESCC.  Dr. Darrien’s heart for leading and empowering youth was born from personal adversity faced while attending Longwood University. 

Clockwise from top left: Darrien Jamar, Karen Downing, Marcus Riley, and Barbara Parker.

Barbara Parker is no stranger to education on the Eastern Shore. With a background working as a school counselor and administrator with Accomack County Public Schools for 19 years, she is currently Director of Guidance and College Counseling and Assistant Head of School for Broadwater Academy, where she has worked in various leadership roles for 15 years. Barbara manages Broadwater’s internship programs and works with students to engage with volunteering at local nonprofits and to connect 12th graders to career pathways. Barbara also oversees Broadwater’s dual-enrollment and college counseling programs to guide and support students making the transition to higher education.

Marcus Riley is the Virginia Tech 4-H Youth Development Extension Agent for Accomack County. He has worked in different capacities creating programs for youth and families, as well as community resource development throughout the Tidewater Region. Through his participation in 4-H and 4-H Congress, Marcus became a leader amongst his peers and within the community.  Passionate about giving back to the youth on the Shore, he helped start a program for Eastern Shore teenagers focused around post-graduation planning, life skills, and insight about the trades.  Marcus is a graduate of Nandua High School and Virginia Wesleyan where he was a member of the 2006 Division III Championship basketball team.

These four new Board members will help Eastern Shore Community College Foundation fulfill its mission to make a positive difference in the lives of all Eastern Shore citizens. This is accomplished by supporting students in their pursuit of education, job training and transition to the workforce, as well as addressing basic needs and services to help them complete coursework and job training.  Since its inception, ESCC Foundation has raised over $5 million through fund drives, major gifts campaigns, fund-raising events, and bequests.  These funds have been used to support scholarships, add new programs, construct the Workforce Development Center and college access road, purchase equipment, support the Project Horizons program, and increase its endowment to ensure that future generations can attend ESCC. For more information about supporting the ESCC Foundation, contact Patty Kellam at