Going for the Goal!
Josh Hughes likes sleeping and playing the occasional video game as much as any college student, but when he’s on his feet – which is often – he’s always on the run.
A Texas native who grew up in Peachtree City, Ga., Josh came to Berry with a passion for soccer. Once he got here, he discovered that he loved chemistry as well.
“I wanted a college that was good at both sports and academics,” he explained. “Berry College’s soccer team is exceptional, and the science department here is also phenomenal.”
It was that combination that motivated Josh to choose Berry over other colleges where athletic scholarships would have been available. As a member of NCAA Division III, Berry does not offer financial aid based solely on athletic merit. Division III institutions dedicate themselves to the concept of the scholar athlete, placing the highest priority on the student’s overall educational experience. For Josh, it was a perfect fit.
“Part of the beauty of college is that we can play both sides of the spectrum and really figure out what we want to do,” he said. “When it comes to soccer, a misconception is that Division III schools don’t have much competition, but in all honesty that’s not true. In the three years I’ve played on Berry’s soccer team, we’ve taken on Division I, Division II and NAIA teams – and we’ve beaten them.”
In 2012, Josh earned All-Region honors after leading Berry to victory in the inaugural Southern Athletic Association tournament. Earlier in the year, he tested his skills against other high-level players as a participant in the Premier Development League in London, Canada. There too he found success, helping his team win the league championship.
When he’s not honing his skills on the soccer field, the organic chemistry major is expanding his mind in the chemistry lab, working alongside Berry faculty members and tutoring his fellow students.
“I believe you get to know your subject even better if you can teach it,” he noted. “Being able to get that deeper level of education and help out the professors is a really meaningful experience for me.”
Josh isn’t sure where his love for chemistry, soccer and teaching will lead him, but he knows it is the donors who funded his academic scholarships who have made it all possible.
“Thank you!” he exclaimed. “Not only on my behalf, but for all the students who get these scholarships.”
Story by Alyssa Hollingsworth, student editorial supervisor