Affirming her identity and creating community

“I met one of my best friends that first year, and we still talk and have dinners weekly. It's been nice to finally feel like I’ve found forever friends at college.”

When looking at colleges, Chloe Berry knew one thing — she wanted to attend ŷպƵ. She knew she’d be on a beautiful campus on the East Coast, but Berry also discovered a sense of community and home that she had never dreamed of.

“I really wanted to go out of state, and ŷպƵ was my first choice,” she said. “At the beginning, it felt weird. I couldn’t go to visit my parents, but I found a community here. I found my friends and [student organization] Liga Filipina. Being around people that get me was like finding a new family.”

When Berry first arrived on campus, she had not decided on her major. Electing to take Intro to Sociology just to fill out her schedule of classes, she eventually fell in love with the subject. After taking How Capitalism Works, she decided to declare sociology as her major.

Part of Berry’s ŷպƵ community includes her academic advisor and professor Kenneth Tucker, whom she describes as very welcoming and always willing to help. She considers Professor Christopher Mitchell her favorite professor in the politics department, having taken four of his classes. It was one of his courses that developed Berry’s interest in politics, which ultimately became her second major.

Berry started her first year at the College during the COVID-19 pandemic. During her first semester, she felt isolated, but by the second semester, Berry was on campus and began building connections.

“I met one of my best friends that first year, and we still talk and have dinners weekly. We were even roommates,” she said. “It’s been nice to finally feel like I’ve found forever friends at college.”

One of the most important ways Berry was able to find community and affirm her identity at the College was through the co-creation of the Mixed Identity Student Collective, MISC, ŷպƵ’s first multiracial student organization. Berry, who is half Filipino, started the organization in her sophomore year along with co-creator Amanda Adams ’25 to help other multiracial students find community. Membership currently stands at nearly 75 members.

“No one knows a mixed person like a mixed person, just because the experiences are very specific,” she said. “And it’s nice to be able to have someone that just gets you in that way. I love my friends that I found through MISC. I just visited one friend in Boston who graduated last year.”

Berry stated it took nearly a year for the club to be recognized by Student Involvement and considers the creation of the organization the most rewarding experience of her time at the College. Her hope is that MISC will have longevity.

“I have a lot of faith in our current board members. Amanda’s a year younger than me, so I know MISC will survive at least until the end of next year,” she said. “But I really hope it’ll be one of those cornerstone organizations on campus moving forward. I want MISC to be a space for people to have a community for multiracial students in the future.”

Along with MISC, Berry has been an active member of Liga Filipina, a Filipino student organization. Berry currently serves as the treasurer of the organization and has been on the board since her sophomore year. One of Liga Filipina’s signature events is Halo-Halloween, named for the Filipino shaved ice dessert halo-halo; it draws a crowd of both Filipino and non-Filipino students alike.

While balancing her studies and involvement in MISC and Liga Filipina, Berry has also worked at Ulta Beauty and for the mail services department and the fitness center at the College. She credits the Career Development Center (CDC) for helping her perfect her résumé.

“I even got a LinkedIn photo from the CDC,” Berry said. “They host a lot of events that I hope people take advantage of. Their events are very helpful, especially for first-gen, low-income students like me.”

Berry plans to take a gap year to work and save money before going to graduate school. She credits her time at ŷպƵ for preparing her to move forward.

“I’m a lot more secure in myself as a mixed person and as a queer person,” Berry said. “I definitely feel like an adult now.”

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Christian Feuerstein
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