Commencement 2019

News Briefs


Before frigid temperatures and snow hit Hampton Roads this winter, Virginia Wesleyan social sciences major Brittany Berry ’15 was already helping to prepare homeless families for the cold. A transfer student who completed her general studies degree at Tidewater Community College, Berry also works for the City of Norfolk as an account technician. In December, she and her colleagues worked with local businesses in downtown Norfolk to collect winter coats, non-perishable food items, over-the-counter medicines and cleaning supplies for homeless families and those living near the poverty level. They also collected more than $900 and donated everything to ForKids, a nonprofit agency dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty for families and kids. Berry’s mom, 1983 VWC graduate Elena Montello, is the development director for Hope House Foundation, an organization that provides support for adults with developmental disabilities. In 2012, Montello received VWC’s Alumni Service Award, and the following year she was chosen as an honoree for the annual YWCA South Hampton Roads Women of Distinction Awards. Berry is following close behind in her mother’s philanthropic footsteps. “I have a strong sense of social responsibility, something I learned from my mom,” she says. “She taught me the value of being part of something greater than myself. Getting involved and being part of the community—that’s what life is all about.” Berry plans to continue serving the homeless and families in need by conducting clothing and food drives several times a year. Her long-term goal is to work for a nonprofit serving the homeless. Adapted from original article written by TCC Campus Communications Officer Laura Sanford. See photo