Class Year: Sophomore
Major: Education Studies
Hometown: Greenville, South Carolina
Labor: Controller for the Campus Activities Board
Activities: Sophomore Class Vice President; S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Peer Mentoring; Student Judiciary Board.
For Collis, the choice of career path was easy. “A high school principal,” he says when asked about his goals after college.
What wasn’t easy for Collis was getting to Berea in the first place. Even with a full-tuition scholarship that seemed “too good to be true,” he faced a tough decision. Leaving home meant quitting a full-time job that provided income his family needed. It also meant moving more than six hours away from his family and giving up a car he had worked extremely hard to purchase.
But if there are two traits that Collis knows well, they are the value of hard work and the need to sometimes sacrifice immediate comfort in order to achieve a long-term goal. After consulting with his mentors, teachers, and family, Collis took the plunge and enrolled at Berea.
Since arriving at the College, Collis has taken full advantage of the opportunities available to him. First as a senator for the Student Government Association, and now as the Sophomore Class Vice President, Collis has found an outlet to “channel my passion for helping others.” He also knows firsthand the challenges and potential pitfalls many Berea students face after leaving home for the first time. To help those students, and to give back to a program he credits with helping him adapt to life at Berea, Collis actively mentors eight freshman in the S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Peer Mentoring program.
In fact, the central belief that dominates Collis’ life is the necessity of giving back. As he tells his story, he highlights the people throughout his life that made time for him when he needed it most, from his grandfather to his high school guidance counselor to his mentor at the Urban League of Greenville. After he graduates, Collis plans to give back by returning home and teaching. By serving as a mentor, he hopes to reach those students who are like he once was—talented and hardworking, but without a clear path to a college education.
Joanne Singh, Associate Vice President for Development, can help. Call her 800-457-9846, ext. 3056.