Timothy Isaiah Hill, University of Central Florida (UCF) class of 2019 Marketing major and Daphne Valcin Scholarship recipient is a young man on a mission to fulfill his dreams.
An alumnus of Hallandale Beach High School in Broward County, Florida, Hill compiled an impressive resume while matriculating there, including membership in Student Government, the Film Club, Future Business Professionals of America, and serving as the Student Body Vice President, graduating at the top 10% of his class, all while accumulating in excess of 400 community service hours during his high school career.
Hill has set a high standard for himself and maintains an attitude of excellence which he attributes to his involvement in Project Inspire. Upon hearing of the Daphne Valcin Scholarship, he remembers thinking it would be a unique opportunity to sharpen his leadership skills. The mentorship, lifestyle adjustment, and assistance he was given were impactful personally, academically, and professionally.
One of the key components to his success in the program was the accountability element. Team members are paired and work together for the life of the program to serve as accountability partners. Each reminds the other to complete readings and other assignments while encouraging one another to keep pushing forward, even in the most adverse situations. This, according to Hill, “…emphasized responsibility for self and the responsibility to be my brother’s keeper.”
Paying homage to his father for making sacrifices so that he and his sister could have access to the best possible education, Hill says he sometimes went without some comforts – periods without electricity or cable television, and no computer in the home– but recognizes his dad’s commitment to ensuring the best education and future for his children.
Hill’s advice to current high school students is to start preparing for college early by taking the SAT and ACT – multiple times if necessary, honing one’s writing skills, getting involved in on-campus activities, and jumping head first into community service because, he says, “…colleges aren’t just looking at grades and test scores; they want leadership, community involvement, and overall well-rounded candidates.”
He chose UCF because of its demographic diversity and the size of the student body. Having come from a relatively small high school where he was exposed to the same people each day, he craved being among a larger population of students. He also wanted to be among the best and brightest and explains, “…UCF is competitive. Everyone is a leader and has major accomplishments under their belts.”
Hill says Project Inspire prepared him for the college experience by teaching him “…how to be professional and how to interact with diverse populations.” He recalls completing his resume and submitting it to the Project Inspire team for critique where it was elevated from “…good to great…” and served as his face to the public; the instrument he needed to get before interviewers and gain employment.
When asked about his personal and professional career goals, the former Prom King says, “I am still figuring it out. Some days I want to be a marketing manager for a Fortune 500 company. Other days I want to be a doctor. Ultimately, my goal is to make something of myself, give back to my community, and never give up.”
“Step out of your comfort zone, network, get involved, and stay focused,” are the words of wisdom Hill wants to pass on to incoming freshmen. He goes on to say, “Never give up. You can achieve your dreams.”