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Student makes new start in hometown

Kady Perry is making the most of the opportunity to return to her roots.

Perry, a Vestal High School graduate, enrolled at Siena College in 2007 but soon found herself unhappy at an Albany-area school that she said lacked diversity.

“When I went to Siena, I had no idea what I wanted to do,” the 20-year-old said. “Taking a year off gave me so much perspective. It motivated me back to school.”

Not only did Perry end up at Binghamton University, but she soon became a community leader, working for the City of Binghamton as a math tutor and later programming director for the Fresh Cycles Youth Program for children on the city’s North Side. She also led the city’s Go Green program, educating the public about the benefits of recycling.

“A goal of mine is to make that connection between the campus community and the Binghamton (city) community,” the sophomore said. “There’s so much creativity on campus and this area needs our help.”

Volunteer work is nothing new to Perry, who has been doing it since age 15. Perry has interned with the American Red Cross, served on the board of Vestal Dollars for Scholars and given artwork to the Endicott Performing Arts Center.

On campus, Perry helps The Free Press and is a member of Phi Eta Sigma honor society. Especially rewarding for Perry was the chance to study art in Madrid, Spain, for five weeks last summer. Perry said she has always drawn for therapeutic reasons and until the trip had ignored pursuing what she truly enjoyed.

“I didn’t know that my lifelong dream would happen so early,” she said with a laugh. “The trip taught me the concept of passion and to go for what you love.”

Perry is now taking art classes as a double major in art and math. She continues her work with the city and has helped her two sisters get into Broome Community College.

Jean Brewster, adjunct lecturer in mathematical sciences, praised Perry’s determination and leadership initiatives such as setting up study groups for classmates.

“She works hard and values education,” Brewster said. “I think she’s the only student I’ve ever had who actually read a math book cover to cover.”

“It’s been such a rewarding experience,” Perry said of her decision to attend Binghamton University. “There are endless opportunities on this campus. People told me I couldn’t do math and art, but I’ve found ways to combine my passions here. The student body is so enthusiastic, well-rounded and intelligent. Just good people.”

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Last Updated: 10/14/08