4.0 GPA earns GHC student recognition as Academic Day Representative

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Brittany Kelchner’s determination to not let anything stop her from getting an education has garnered her state recognition.The Acworth resident, who has carried a perfect 4.0 GPA at Georgia Highlands College despite finding out during her first semester that she was pregnant, was chosen as GHC’s Board of Regents Academic Day Representative for this year.One student is chosen from each college in the University System of Georgia every year to be an Academic Day Representative. Kelchner was GHC’s choice because of her outstanding scholastic achievement, including the mandatory 4.0 GPA.Being named GHC’s representative was “pretty awesome,” she said, noting she found out about the recognition while she was at work one day. Kelchner, 26, and all the other representatives will be honored in March during the board of regents meeting and luncheon at the USG office in Atlanta, and she will be recognized again during GHC’s Honor Night in the spring.Having a child while attending college was one of the hardest things she’s ever done, but Kelchner hasn’t let it keep her from attending classes and working toward her Associate of Science degree in biology.“My father started lecturing to me at a very young age about education and its importance,” she said. “He taught me to always be learning and growing as a person. He instilled in me a passion for learning.”She’s also had to orchestrate a balancing act between school, work, family and volunteer work — all while keeping a 4.0 GPA.“I focus on what’s right in front of me and figure it out as I go,” she said. “Thank goodness for that fight-or-flight response. Go sympathetic nervous system! I also learned how to study and set a timeline before I started attending college.”Kelchner said she plans to continue her education at the University of Georgia after she graduates from Georgia Highlands, with the goal of opening her own nature center for rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife and teaching kids about animals and the environment.“Our children are our future,” she said. “Their education or ignorance will shape the world. I sincerely hope that it is education that fuels their decision-making. We, as parents, must get them out from behind a screen and show them the vivid beauty and life the natural world has to offer so that they may appreciate it as much as our parents did or more.” An active volunteer with GHC’s Green Highlands student organization, Kelchner said her mother was responsible for turning her into a nature lover.“She is a bathe-in-waterfalls, make-friends-with-birds, love-on-trees kind of person,” she said. “I guess parents really do rub off on you. Although, I must admit, I want the nature center more to open our children's eyes and start a flame that can burn bright in their hearts than just in hopes of caring for some precious animals.”