The spirit of generosity runs deep in 11th-grader Robert Hamilton. “I love helping people,” he says. “I hate seeing people struggle.” He says that if he were given a magic wand with which he could do anything he wanted, he says that he would help the homeless, adding “I would give them what they need.”
This generous, eager-to-help nature might have been developed, at least in part, due to a childhood trauma Robert experienced.
When he was ten, an electrical fire caused his family’s home to burn. No one was home at the time, so no one was hurt. But they were homeless, and most of their possessions were destroyed. A friend took them in and gave them a place to stay, and Robert believes that act of kindness might have been the catalyst for his own desire to help others. “It made me think differently about everything I do,” he related.
Robert credits his parents for raising him and his seven siblings (including younger-by-five-minutes twin brother, Dalton) to be the happy, successful people they are today. He admires their strength and perseverance, and does his best to emulate them.
Robert is a very social guy, and he likes talking with all kinds of people. He thinks people would say that he is honest and forthright, and also that he’s something of a joker. But he is seriously loyal to his friends, willing to do just about anything for them. That’s probably because he knows just how important it is to choose your friends wisely. “Don’t hang out with the wrong crowd, don’t try to fit yourself in with the wrong people,“ he advises. “Just be yourself and have fun.”
After high school, Robert has plans to attend Shawnee Community College, and then transfer to a bigger school, where his field of study may include business, economics and finance to help prepare for an eventual career in real estate. He’s unsure if he will remain in the Mounds area, saying that he will live “wherever life takes me.” No matter where he lands, the community will be a little richer by his presence there.
“Don’t hang out with the wrong crowd, don’t try to fit yourself in with the wrong people,“ he advises. “Just be yourself and have fun.”