Student Spotlight: Alexandria Nicole Berry

by Terry Watson | February 10th, 2011
Alexandria Berry

Alexandria Berry

Since she was in the second grade, Alexandria Nicole Berry has aspired to be an astronaut. Almost all of her decisions have been based on that one dream and this is what makes her who she is. Berry had the opportunity to meet two of her greatest inspirations in person. Dr. Mae Jemison and Stephanie Wilson are two African American women who are NASA astronauts.

Berry references her family, especially her parents, for impacting her life the most. Having a father who is retired from the military; she was able to travel throughout the United States and Europe. “These experiences have impacted me greatly; she says, they have widened the lens that I see the world through and given me a better understanding of people”.

Academically Berry pushes herself pretty hard. Her plate is filled with mostly honors and advanced placement classes including Honors German IV, AP Environmental Science, Honors Calculus and Naval Science IV. She is also very active outside of the classroom with community service including Girl Scouts of America, the National Honor Society, Student Human Relations Commission, Navy JROTC and so much more. During her freshman year, Berry was awarded the Reserved Officers Association Award. As a sophomore, she earned the Military Officers Association Award and became the commander of her Navy JROTC unit’s first year drill team. In addition, she was also one of 30 semi-finalists from a pool of 9,000 entries in NASA’s Name That Rover Essay contest.

Most recently, she earned a four year Navy ROTC scholarship to Boston University and was selected and successfully completed the U.S. Naval Academy Summer Seminar and the West Point Summer Leadership Seminar. This year, she placed first in the Miss Black Teen Pageant and was named new Commanding Officer at her Navy JROTC Unit’s annual banquet. An avid violinist, Berry was invited to perform a selection at the 23rd annual Visual and Performing Arts program in Greensboro. She also received the Bedford High School Orchestra Achievement Award.

Though garnishing several accomplishments, Alexandria has also faced several challenges. Of her father’s 14 month deployment to Iraq she says, “It was tough not to see him for such a long time.” His absence during the holidays and birthdays caused her family to grow stronger. Another challenge that created a stronger family bond was her mother’s diagnosis of breast cancer. Her mother underwent treatments that included chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. This ordeal lasted for over a year.

God has given Berry a lot of talent and potential and it’s important to her to take full advantage of it. “In everything that I do, I strive to give 100 percent. I feel that if I make a commitment then I am obligated to it,” says Berry. One commitment is to attend the U.S. Naval Academy and major in aerospace engineering. Upon graduating she plans to become a fighter pilot for the U.S. Navy and eventually be selected to participate in the U.S. Space Program. “My parents have worked hard to give me everything they can to set me up for success. I owe it to them to be successful. It seems like a pretty simple equation to me,” says Berry.

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