“No one expected me to go to college. No one in my family had gone. It wasn’t something I was looking to do.”
A Different View on Life
Enchanta Jackson had a tumultuous path to Berea, including the death of a parent. Today, she works among the movers and shakers in Washington D.C. as a staffer for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Berea played a critical role in her personal and professional growth, she says, by fueling her passion for hard work and service, as well as giving her an appreciation for people and perspectives that are different from her own. Such skills are valuable anywhere, but especially in Washington D.C.
“I have a different view on life,” she said. “And I really think I got that at Berea.”
Enchanta came to Berea through Upward Bound, a program for low-income high school students. Once at the College, Enchanta recognized the special opportunity she’d been given and quickly dove headlong into campus life. An African American and women’s studies double major, Enchanta eagerly applied her classroom learning to her social life. She served as vice president of Berea’s Black Student Union, was a mentor at the Black Cultural Center, and served as a tutor for Upward Bound students. “Inside the classroom was wonderful, and I had wonderful professors. But outside the classroom,” Enchanta remembers, “that’s when I really learned about life.”
Today, Enchanta produces policy reports on education and other issues facing the African American community, assists with the Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference, and coordinates programs for Emerging Leaders, a series of forums and events for young professionals that is also run by the Foundation.
When she’s not busy working for the CBCF, she volunteers her time at Womanifesting, a D.C.-area nonprofit that encourages women to share their skills and knowledge through volunteer work. That’s part of the philosophy she learned at Berea. “You shouldn’t just live for yourself,” Enchanta says. “Berea really pushed the sense of ‘you are your brother’s keeper.’ I didn’t learn that from anywhere but Berea.”