Lane Hinton, Staff Writer
Kevin Kim, Editor
Berea College is one of the few schools in the country that is labeled as a Federal Work-Study School. This means that every student on campus is assigned a labor position, that helps pay for their schooling, as well as give them an extra spending money for books, food, and etc. Labor is an essential feature of the Liberal Arts curriculum of Berea College, as the 4th Great Commitment of the College centers around it, "To promote learning and serving in community through the student Labor Program, honoring the dignity and utility of all work, mental and manual, and taking pride in work well done." The College itself takes great pride in the social and personal benefits students gain from having a labor position on campus, such as establishing a lifestyle of developing good work habits, attitudes, and critical thinking in the work environment.
Andrew Akins is a senior baseball player for the College. Akins has worked for the Athletic Grounds Crew since his freshman year, and will graduate this May. He joined the crew with very minimal knowledge in working on athletic fields, such as the BC Soccer Field, Softball Field, and Baseball Field, but will graduate being the Student-Supervisor for the past 2 years. What makes Akins so unique and special is the fact that he is one of the few, if not the only student-athlete in the country that has had the opportunity to work on field that he gets to play on every spring during his baseball season. Akins states, "It has been a privilege to be able to play on the field that I know my crew and I put a lot of work into. It really has been able to give me a sense of pride in my work whenever I get to step on that field. I cannot express how much pride and joy I feel when I hear my fellow student-athletes tell me that they love playing on their field, or even when an opposing players and coaches tell me how good our field is, because I know how much hard work we have put in the past 4-years."
The Berea College Labor Department states that they expects each worker to:
- Exhibit Enthusiasm for Learning
- Act with Integrity and Caring
- Value all People
- Work as a Team
- Serve Others
- Celebrate Work Well Done
which they believe coupled with the education given in the classroom, prepares every Berea College graduate into a life of work when entering the world. Andrew Akins fits the mission that the College strives to accomplish with all of their students. Akins has been able to use the lessons from the labor program to develop himself not as only a leader on the baseball field, but also in the classroom, as Akins will be graduating from the Education Program this May and is pursuing a lob in Lexington, KY. Akins exemplifies the model Berea College student-athlete and more importantly, and Berea College graduate this May.