Derby Chukwudi News Writer Chukwudid@berea.edu
Students share what Berea College means to them and the motivation for pushing on despite the challenges.
Chase McCoy ’20
“Berea is happiness to me and that happiness comes from the strong community here at Berea. When I left my hometown, I wasn’t a happy person. I left my hometown of Murray, Kentucky four months ago as an unhappy person without purpose. I came to Berea College with the goal to find myself and to find happiness. When I arrived at Berea as a new student, I found a new purpose for my life. My purpose is to help others and to make people smile. I truly understand those struggles of students, and I feel that if I can make one person smile, then maybe I can make their day better. It does, however, bring its own struggles. Because I spend so much of my time helping others and volunteering, I often forget about my own personal needs. But in the end, seeing the smile that I can bring upon people is the reason I keep going. Nothing makes me happier than to see people happy.”
Yabsira Ayele ’19
“Berea College is one of the candles that light up the room called my dreams.
Berea College gives me the opportunity to make a difference in my life, otherwise that might not have been afforded to me. Berea College by no means is easy; it rewards students who seek its opportunities. These opportunities come in diverse ways from making lifelong friends, who know the Berea struggle, to having the opportunity to study abroad or even having a paid internship. Best of all, the quiet space of Berea really gives me time and a personal space to really evaluate who I am. The hardest part about Berea College for me is finding the time to do everything I need to do. I have become an instant adult since I came here, and adjusting to the new environment and holding myself accountable is the hardest part of Berea. The reason I still attend Berea College and pursue my education, is my drive to be better and to achieve new heights that only my potential could cap.”
Adriana Williams ’18
“Berea for me means growth. Coming in as a freshman, I was very unaware, uninformed and uneducated about a lot of things. The only thing I was concerned about was playing basketball, but Berea provided me with numerous opportunities, new challenges and growth academically and athletically. Because of Berea, I have been able to meet amazing friends from all over the world, join organizations, and play basketball at the collegiate level. Some of these organizations include Emerging Scholars Program, Entrepreneurship for the Public Good, and the Dean’s Corps. Through all my successes and failures I have been able to prosper because I believe that the entire Berea Institution is a challenge and with persistence I can make it to the end. My focus on growth and self-development are two major things that have kept staying strong in Berea College.”
Tran Nguyen ’17
“Berea is where my dreams are empowered and my skills are sharpened. It is where serving others is the purpose and compassion is the culture.
When I got accepted three years ago, I was a bit skeptical that such a wonderful school did exist. Now, I’m glad that I was brave enough to go. Every semester in school, I always set goals to achieve. The first semester of my stay in Berea, my goal was to improve my spoken English. The second semester was to find a more challenging and promising labor opportunity. The first summer was to survive the EPG program. Then, the next school year was to create my own major and get into my dream study abroad program.
What has kept me motivated is the people at Berea! I have received so much help from the upperclassmen in the Speech and Debate team my freshman year, and I am currently giving back to the team by serving as the captain this year. I have been mentored by Dr. Hackbert in the EPG program since my second semester in school until now. Ann and her staff in CIE have been such a big help for me in studying abroad. Dr. Bolster and the music department always encouraged my interest and ability in music. In addition to all this support, I had so much supporting and inspiring friends at Berea.
I am happy that I am about to graduate and I know that I will miss the time at Berea a lot. If I have to say something metaphorical about Berea, it would be Berea gives me the wings to soar my sky.”