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January Champion Award given to custodial servant leader

In recognition of his hardworking demeanor and unconditional loving attitude, Liberty University Custodial Facilities shift supervisor Aaron Berlin received the Champion Award for the month of January.

Students, faculty and staff may pass by Berlin cleaning floors as they walk out of their classes or leave work, just as Berlin and his second shift custodial staff members are dutifully at work maintaining and servicing Liberty’s many class buildings and facilities.

The Liberty Champion Award was introduced last fall as a way to recognize those in Liberty’s community who demonstrate champion-like characteristics and the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control), which are at the heart of both Liberty’s mission and the We The Champions project.

Berlin said he understands that his responsibilities of taking out the trash and sweeping can be mundane and repetitive work, but nonetheless, he views his work as an opportunity to share the love of God with everyone he encounters. His coworkers in particular say that Berlin maintains a positive mindset that can be contagious to those around him.

Darren Wheelock, one of Berlin’s former coworkers, said he was personally impacted by Berlin many times, noting that Berlin’s love for Christ is constantly on full display when he is on the clock.

“He would always make sure to maintain a positive attitude; it’s cleaning floors, it’s not exactly the most glorious job,” Wheelock said. “But Aaron would consistently remind me that I’m not working just for Liberty — I’m working to bring honor and glory to God. So that’s the level of work I should bring, and that’s the level of work he brings every day.”

Because of his faith, Berlin is focused on how he can use his work to impact others.

“One of the cool ways that I get to impact the people I work with comes from my belief in the Gospel,” Berlin said. “Christ has changed the way I approach my work and relationships, so instead of just trying to succeed out of my own effort, I’m trying to bring glory to God.”

Throughout the academic year, students, faculty, and staff will have the opportunity to nominate someone they feel is living out the character traits of a champion. One individual will receive The Champion Award each month. To nominate a Liberty student, faculty, or staff member for the Champion Award, email their name and story to WeTheChampions@liberty.edu or fill out the online form on the We The Champions webpage.