Five years ago I imagined the road ahead of me. On this road, I walked alone. On this road, all of my life’s accomplishments would transpire. I was an 18 year old full of both excitement and fear of what lay ahead. I realized that I was not set up to succeed. I was born into a family with no parents, no money, and no education.
However, five years ago a hand reached down to help support me on this road. Because of this help, my college career began and ended with the support I needed to accomplish all my goals. The initiative gave me peers and mentors who were invaluable when I pursued my many dreams. When my life came across unexpected turns and pitfalls, the initiative helped to put me back on the road I needed to be. I joined the initiative because I believed in what it represented and needed the support it would provide.
The number of African American Males today in higher education is lower than almost any other group. The success rate of that group is even smaller. The African American Male Initiative at St. Philip’s College represents a positive opportunity for African American Males to help change the lives of those who will follow them by reaching down to help the next group and by paving the road for others to follow. The African American Male Initiative showed me the way. The initiative elevated and challenged me to success not just for myself but also those around me.
Taking the initiative instituted in me a need to serve the community and help those around me wherever I go. Taking the initiative led me to support many community and educational organizations along my path. Taking the initiative benefited me and will continue to do so throughout my journey.
Courtney D. Hilliard
Juris Doctor Candidate 2013
University of Oklahoma College of Law
Treasurer, Black Law Students Association
Undergraduate Liaison, Black Law Students Association
Oklahoma Journal of Law and Technology