Hampton’s Aria Hill Emerges as Nonprofit Mogul in the Making

Example of HBCU entrepreneurship, community engagement in action

Example of HBCU entrepreneurship, community engagement in action

The Daily Press profiles Hampton University junior Aria Hill, a nonprofit executive in the making who is making a regional name as a community service corporate giant.

Service Spree
Service Spree is a volunteer staffing agency started by Hampton University student Aria Hill in 2015.www.dailypress.com

Hill founded Service Spree, a nonprofit volunteer staffing agency for local community outreach programs in November 2015. In just over a year, the organization has recruited more than 150 Hampton students to serve in local food banks, elderly care facilities and thrift stores.

The junior also heads two other initiatives aimed at black male mentoring and women’s outreach, and after earning her degree in pharmacy, has the option of pursuing a career in the field or expanding her profile as a nonprofit executive. Or both.

And that is the point of college — inspiring students to pursue industrial and personal passions, and to create business opportunities out of both. At HBCUs, it is the unspoken art of teaching the hustle; encouraging students to understand that building wealth in black communities means cultivating world-class talent in a high-earning field, or translating passions in the liberal arts or the formal and social sciences to generate multiple streams of income.

Hill is an example of using the HBCU mission to create positive gains for vulnerable people and communities. Every HBCU would be lucky to recruit a student like Aria Hill, but they probably won’t because of limited resources, persistent stereotypes, geography and a few other reasons.

But HBCUs don’t have to wait for a student to develop businesses like Service Spree; they are equipped to turn similar ideas into institutional revenue-bearing enterprises. They can give students the the resume-building, career-boosting experience to enrich their lives and degrees, and their outlook on community building.

And at the same time, they can learn to turn the art of the hustle from a something given to students into something that gives back to institutions for generations to come.