Distinguished Alumni Awards
Outstanding Young Alumni Award
Chris Hayes (04C)
Christopher R. Hayes (04C) has worked for the welfare of children and families since he was in high school. After obtaining his degree from Berry, he helped ensure the safety of at-risk children through his work at the Floyd County Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) and at FaithBridge Foster Care. As a regional director for Northwest Georgia for Bethany Christian Services, he meets with legislators and county regional and state DFCS directors about community based approaches to care and has helped change the way the state of Georgia approaches foster care an adoption. He has written manuals, policies and procedures for use in helping foster families, foster children, and adoptive and biological families of foster children. Through policy change and relationships with leaders, churches and communities in twelve counties in the metro Atlanta area, he strives to transform communities and to change the perception of the child welfare industry.
Hayes recruits and trains foster and adoptive families and also provides training for staff at churches, school and care agencies. He further organizes events to raise money and supplies that will help biological families who have lost children turn their lives around and get their children home. From driving birth parents to rehab and church to cooking meals and providing clothing, Christmas presents and beds, Hayes demonstrates that his dedication goes beyond the typical workday. He has acted as a babysitter when no volunteers were available and has recruited Berry students to volunteer to serve foster families in the Rome/Floyd County area. His work with troubled youth has included providing counseling and mentoring to teenage sex offenders.
Hayes holds a Master of Arts degree in Christian ministry leadership from Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Va., and is also a worship leader, musician and DJ. He is married to Brittany Houser Hayes (07C, 09G), an elementary school teacher, and they are parents to daughter Addison Rae.