NC State and CALS are known for attracting exceptional students – and while their paths aren’t always ‘traditional,’ their stories are always remarkable. So what makes new Prestage Department of Poultry Science (PDPS) undergrad Coleman Berry stand out in a stand-out crowd? At 18, he’s a first-year student entering PDPS as a senior.
NC Poultry Roots
Berry grew up around chickens in Richmond County, North Carolina, where his dad was a grower for Perdue.
It wasn’t until he attended the Poultry Science Summer Institute (PSSI) in 2017, though, that Coleman was sure he also wanted to work in poultry science.
“Through PSSI, I discovered I really liked the research portion of poultry science, specifically genomics, as well as embryology and incubation,” he said.
PSSI, a PDPS-hosted camp, brings high school students interested in exploring poultry science to NC State for hands-on learning. Berry praised PSSI, saying, “I think attending camps and events like PSSI before … college is important. It allows you to meet new people and lays out somewhat of a path for yourself.”
Path to CALS
The path Berry laid out for himself was focused, but it wasn’t easy. He attended Richmond Early College High School (REACH) through Richmond County Schools during his sophomore year in high school. He took enough classes to start his “freshman” year at NC State with 92 credit hours, technically making him a PDPS rising senior.
The REACH mascot is The Wolves – coincidence or signpost? Now that Coleman is part of the Wolfpack, it’s hard not to see it as a natural transition. To make that transition smoother, Berry also started at NC State with 10 scholarships worth almost $20,000:
- McRae’s Electric Scholarship
- Golden LEAF Scholarship
- Flake Shaw NC Farm Bureau Scholarship
- Thomas A. Carter Family 4-H and Poultry Scholarship
- Nance Family Agricultural Scholarship
- NC State Fair Junior Livestock Scholarship
- McLean Presbyterian Church Scholarship
- Cole Foundation Scholarship
- H. Connor Kennett, Jr. and Aldith B. Kennett Scholarship
- Lee W. and Ruth C. Herrick Scholarship
Plans for the Future
He may have just gotten to PDPS, but Coleman already has ambitious plans – he wants to attend graduate school after finishing his undergraduate degree.
So far, Berry seems on track for continued success. He sees hard work and opportunities coming together: “If you try hard enough, doors are opened up for you.”