Vidya ’23

Vidya '23As a boy, Vidya ’23 discovered something many of us take decades to find—his true passion. Nothing interested him more than tinkering with appliances around the house, looking at their mechanisms, and finding creative ways to fix them. So eventually, his parents gave him free rein to take apart their old vacuum cleaner, television, and anything else he could lay his hands on. Vidya’s hobby turned into a love for everything mechanical.

As high school graduation approached, Vidya’s parents told him about Berea College, and he eagerly applied. In addition to the chance to relieve his parents of the immense burden of tuition costs, Vidya was particularly excited about Berea’s Labor Program.

Vidya’s labor position is the lead bike technician for Berea Bikes. Here he maintains the College’s fleet of 60 rental bikes and repairs students’ bicycles, which challenges his technical know-how and customer-service skills. He adores his labor, in part because it gives him a chance to unwind while also applying what he’s learning in his Engineering, Technology, and Applied Design coursework. Also, Vidya’s labor position has led him to develop quality friendships with his co-workers and patrons, which has greatly increased his confidence and made him feel seen. “It’s therapeutic for me,” Vidya said. “I get to do what I love while also helping people get around campus safely. I love it.”

Even though working on the bikes is a lot of work, Vidya never complains. These experiences have empowered Vidya’s post-graduation plans to pursue a master’s degree in Product Innovation at Virginia Commonwealth University and eventually start a nonprofit for bike-repair enthusiasts.

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