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BC Salutes Service-Minded Students

The eleventh annual Unity Banquet honored four outstanding African American students with the Carter G. Woodson Student Service Awards, named in honor of Berea College alum Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the father of black history. The night’s recipients were senior Olatunde Oluyitan, junior Geri Guy, sophomore Amanda Lucas and freshmen Christopher Perkins. For their commitment to academic excellence, service and interracial education, each received a plaque bearing his or her name as well as a monetary gift.

BCC Director Tashia Bradley poses with award recipient Christopher Perkins.

When asked his response to hearing his name announced as a winner, Perkins replies, “I couldn’t believe that I had qualified much less won the award. It is always a good feeling to know that you are doing a good thing for your community, but it is an even better feeling when you know people support you in what you’re doing.”

Recipient Lucas says, “I remember being at the Carter G. banquet when I was a senior in high school watching Alex Gibson receive his award. And I always said I would, too, because this award showed the hard-working people at their best.”

Winning the service award has opened the door to new horizons in service and leadership opportunities beyond Berea. Future expectations and plans for each recipient are as diverse as those receiving the rewards.

Oluyitan says, “I plan on attending graduate school in two years, and then using my creativity to start a business. I really want to help society in some way.”

“I see my self as a professor at a liberal arts college, using service-learning to broaden the outlook of my students,” states Geri Guy. “I am an individual who stands up for the issues that I believe in and I am also willing to use my voice to address injustices.”

Just as Dr. Carter G. Woodson inspired millions of African Americans to take pride in their heritage, recipients of the Woodson awards are also inspired by the acts and words of those in their communities and at the college.

Perkins says, “Chris Myers Asch is my inspiration. He started an organization called the Sunflower County Freedom Project, which I grew up in. In the seven years that I have known him, he has been a beacon of success and community service to my community and the United States.”

“Tashia Bradley, the director of the Black Cultural Center is my inspiration," claims Lucas. "She motivates me to be the most magnificent woman that I can be. She’s shown that with the right attitude and ambition I can go anywhere, and I will.”

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