Forestry major Stephen Bennett was one of the thousands who graduated from Virginia Tech in May. Like everyone else, he worked hard to earn his degree. Unlike everyone else, Bennett saves lives in his free time.

During his college career, Bennett volunteered with the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad, serving as chief for the last two years. He often put in 40 hours a week on the squad while still attending class full time. One of his favorite on-the-job memories is when his squad assisted police in resuscitating a student who had stopped breathing; he was able to meet with the student and his family later. “There was a lot of good we did that day, but he was meant to be here for a reason,” Bennett said. “I don’t think it was his time yet.”

Bennett has returned home to Covington, Virginia, to work for his family’s sawmill and harvesting businesses. He plans to continue his passion for service by joining Clifton Forge Rescue Squad. “I plan to go back and figure out the right place for me,” he said.