Shelby Chopson (23C)

A Heart Filled with Gratitude

When Shelby Chopson (23C) walked across the stage in May to accept her diploma, she did it with a heart filled with gratitude to the alumni and friends who support the Save a Student Scholarship.

Shelby's love for theatre drew her to Berry, but she soon discovered that the lessons shared by her friends majoring in animal science really made her heart sing. Remembering how much she always loved animals and exploring nature, she quickly changed her major to animal science and even snagged the perfect job at the dairy through Berry's LifeWorks Program. Early mornings found her rising before the sun, making her way alongside deer-dotted fields to care for newborn calves and help milk the cows.

But as her junior year wore on, she began battling a wildly racing heartbeat and associated dizziness that was diagnosed as tachycardia. Even walking was hard, and getting to class and keeping up with assignments exhausted her. She was unable to continue working.

One of five children, Shelby then worried about being unable to contribute financially toward her Berry education. The added stress compounded her condition and staying at Berry seemed to be moving out of reach. "I couldn't work anymore, and to know I couldn't contribute even a little was hard. Then, I remember one day I called mom and said, 'Guess what just happened! I got the Save a Student Scholarship.' It was really a blessing to know that I wasn't putting so much of a burden on them."

To the alumni and friends who support Save a Student, Shelby has a special message: "Y'all being generous has made so much more of a difference than you can imagine. Donating to this scholarship may look like just numbers on paper, but it has led to all the experiences I've had: the professors I've talked to, all the information I've learned, the friends I've made, and the community I'm part of. None of that would be possible for me without those who gave so generously."

The Save a Student Scholarship allows Berry's financial aid office to help students when unexpected crises hit - whether it's a medical diagnosis or a family job loss. You can offer hope for students like Shelby when you give online at alwaysberry.com/gift.

Always Berry