Class Year: Freshman
Hometown: Cynthiana, Kentucky
Labor: Public Relations Tour Guide
Berea helps aspiring filmmaker tell her story through a new lens
“History is full of small, untold stories that make up a bigger picture,” says Katie Willhoit. “I want to tell those stories.” Support from friends and alumni is helping this Berea freshman document her own journey.
Katie is passionate about telling stories through documentary films, but first she had to get the chance to tell her own. A talented senior at a rural high school in Kentucky, Katie found herself wondering what to do next. “I’m from a single-parent household,” she says, “and I couldn’t really afford college.” When a Berea alumnus mentioned the College’s full-tuition scholarships, Katie took an interest. As she found out more about the campus and its reputation as a vibrant learning community, she quickly fell in love. “I liked that you get work experience as well as a high standard of education,” she says. “Everyone I talked to said ‘That’s a good school.’”
Since her arrival, Katie has been consistently impressed by Berea’s small class size, caring faculty, and her labor position. “I know people who went to larger schools, and they hate it because they never see their professor. I have to meet with my professor on every paper, so I get time to ask questions if I don’t understand.” Katie’s position as a tour guide for Public Relations has taught her to communicate more effectively to diverse audiences. Her classes continue to fuel her passion for making documentaries, and she has already applied for a visual media internship on campus.
As she prepares for her sophomore year, Katie looks forward to the next three years. She hopes to learn film and lighting techniques and improve her communications skills. After college, Katie wants to direct her own films, drawing attention to important issues such as human trafficking. “I want to impact people with my work. If I affect someone, or change a situation, then I think that’s my job as a filmmaker.”
Thanks to support from friends and alumni, Katie will be able to develop personally and professionally during the next three years. By taking advantage of every opportunity offered by Berea College, this sophomore is getting the chance to create her own story.