Sidney Berry hits the jackpot

Photo of Sidney Berry courtesy:

This spring has ushered in an abundance of blessings for many Rattlers, including one in particular.

Sidney Berry had the esteemed pleasure of being selected as 1 of 18 recipients of the first group of Disney Storytellers Scholars in addition to being one of two Rattlers to win an EA Madden scholarship.

The Disney scholarship will provide her with an all-expenses paid summer internship this summer in New York with ABC, plus tuition for the next school year. The EA Madden scholarship will net her an additional $8,500.

Berry, a third-year public relations major from Atlanta, said she was grateful for her involvement on campus and how that motivated her to apply.

“I feel like since my time here at Florida A&M I really got to grow, not only personally and professionally but also like my resume, I’ve been able to build it up a lot,” Berry said, “and that’s just been by getting involved on campus and networking, making close relations with teachers in j-school that can help me out as well. Like Ranata Hughes is a big help, she’s always sending out opportunities and she really does care about her students, she also vouched for me for the Disney scholarship.”

Berry mentioned her role on the production team for FAMU’s TEDx Talk and being junior class president, which helped her with “organization and leadership” and aided her professionally.

The EA Madden scholarship program was created in collaboration with the United Negro College Fund to support the educational and career development of students attending HBCUs. According to a FAMU press release, the program is a part of the  John Madden legacy commitment that was implemented by EA in 2022 to “celebrate the impact of legendary coach and broadcaster John Madden,” the company said.

Photo of Ronnie Burns courtesy:

Ronnie Burns II, a second-year computer science student from Dallas, was the second selected recipient of the EA Madden scholarship program.

“My initial reaction when I found out I won the scholarship, I was very shocked because I wasn’t very used to winning scholarships, but I know I’ve been working on my resume and just serving my purpose with God, so I was just happy and blessed and kind of reassured,” Burns said. “I am in a very competitive space, and also in that space a lot of Black people don’t really win these opportunities so being able to increase that representation and get my foot in the door, it’s not only going to help me stay blessed but it’s going to help me be able to lead and help other people and bless them.”

Berry said she strifes to remain optimistic even through burnout and internship rejections.

“The outcome of all those yeses are so much bigger than those no’s, so the things that I’ve been able to gain and receive from just a couple of yeses has definitely outweighed just those rejections,” Berry said. “Burnout’s definitely real, I’ve experienced it several times throughout this school year and even last school year and I’m still trying to find ways to manage it. But I’ve just always been one to know where I want to be, and I know what I need to do to get there so all I can do is keep on pushing.”