By Cynthia M. Gonzalez
Through determination and dedication, many are able to recognize hard work when it’s seen. Charlotte Berry, great aunt to AU student Amber Foster, was awarded for her good deeds in Springfield this past weekend.
Berry was honored at the Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum for her work in the community and her continuing efforts in their museum. When asked how she and her family feel about the award Amber responded, “My family is ecstatic. She is the oldest of six children. Berry was born on Oct 10, 1916 which makes her 96. She has worked hard for many years doing community service and volunteering. She is living proof that hard work pays off”.
Charlotte Berry has done a tremendous amount of work in her community and has a passion for volunteering and civil rights. Some of Berry’s work includes forming the AARP Tax Aide program in Springfield to help people receive free tax help, she began Springfield’s first ethnic festival, became a member of the Springfield Urban League Guild, the National Council of Urban League Guilds, helped found Comer Cox Park and much more.
Because of the work she has done, Berry has been awarded numerous community awards. Some awards include being inducted into the Mayor’s Hall of Fame, received a senior citizen award by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a Mollie Moon Service award and many other recognized state and national awards.
Amber Foster is a history major with a museum studies minor, who is currently a student assistant at the Schingoethe Museum and Art Gallery. Amber’s family sees history as an important subject in people’s lives. They believe that it’s important to know where you come from, and her great aunt is able to emphasize this through her accomplishments and knowledge.
Amber states, “Museums are about community, documenting and preserving the past. Through family members such as my Aunt Charlotte and their tireless commitment to the community, I have realized the importance of museums and their purpose of keeping history and legacies alive”.
Charlotte Berry has demonstrated good deed throughout her life and everyone in the community is able to acknowledge it. She is able to inspire the community as a whole and has made a positive impact in people’s lives today.