Berea Patrons Danielle Graves ’19 (Left)  and Andrea Dowlen ’18 (Right)

Andrea Dowlen ’18, political science major, and Danielle Graves ’19, communication major, might have different stories, but two common threads tie them together—their passion for making a difference and their gratitude for the opportunities they’ve received at Berea College.

“At Berea, you realize it may be difficult, but you can get even further,” Danielle said. “With Berea, you don’t lose who you are. You just transform and become a better person.”

Andrea and Danielle chose to participate as Berea Patrons, giving back a portion of their modest labor earnings to support the college that has enriched their futures. They also are members of the Student Alumni Council (SAC), where they involve their peers in the joy of giving.

“I go to Berea because someone gave to me, but that person didn’t stop there; they continued to give,” Andrea said. “You donate time, you donate money, you donate effort; you donate because somebody donated for you. It does not stop; it’s ongoing. That’s with everything at Berea. Nothing stops.”

Bit by bit, both students are showing that giving what you can, no matter how little it may seem to be, does make a difference.

“Someone paid maybe $3 out of their paycheck every month for me to have this opportunity,” Danielle said. “How can I deny somebody else who needs the opportunity just as much as I did?”

During the 2016-17 school year, more than 900 of Berea’s 1,600 students donated portions of their checks to make this valuable opportunity more widely available, truly making Berea the gift that keeps on giving.

“The most rewarding part of SAC is getting to make connections with students and alumni while still being a student myself,” Danielle explained. “Also, being able to see someone else be as passionate as I am about Berea Patrons gives me the feel-goods.”

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