A New Home for Davallen

Davallen smilesFor Appalachian student Davallen, ’23, home has not always offered peace and happiness. Davallen’s road to becoming the first person in her family to go to college was far from easy. But fortunately, Berea College not only offers Davallen a tuition scholarship, it provides all the support and opportunities she needs to succeed.

Despite her brilliance in school and devotion to her church’s community service, Davallen knew early on that academic excellence and volunteerism alone do not pay overdue bills or heal a strained household. Systemic problems facing her hometown of Williamsburg, Kentucky—addiction and job insecurity—echoed inside Davallen’s home.

She told us, “I don’t think most people understand the impact addiction has on a child. There was a lot of arguing and uncertainty, and that was a big challenge for me.”

So, at seventeen, Davallen made a choice most children will never have to face: she left her parents’ house to find the stability every teenager deserves.

Luckily, Stephanie, a kind woman from Davallen’s church, welcomed Davallen into her home with open arms. Stephanie became like a second mother to Davallen and even introduced her to Berea College.

After weeks of research, they drove up to visit Berea, unsure of what they’d discover. Berea was far from Davallen’s small mountain town, her friends, her church, and her newly adopted home. Davallen still thought everything Berea College offered was too good to be true, but when she arrived on campus, Davallen said, “I just knew this was going to be my home.”

Now, as a Child and Family Studies major, Davallen has chosen to confront the issues facing her family and community by learning about the economic, cultural, and political forces behind drug addiction, systemic poverty, and job insecurity. After graduating, Davallen plans to work with children in foster care, to give them the same kind of tender, devoted support that Stephanie and Berea College offered her in her times of need. She is now even more certain of her calling after spending this summer interning with a regional charity that serves the families of foster children.

At Berea College, your generosity fosters the talent and devotion of students like Davallen. She is already paying your generosity forward by donating a portion of her student labor paychecks back to the college through the Berea Patrons, the student giving program! She donates because, “This place is like no other place on Earth, and we need each other to make the college run. More people still need us.

With your gift, you will welcome even more people like Davallen to their new home at Berea College.