We need leaders. In a time where America’s image is under renovation, community activists and influencers are rolling up their sleeves and getting involved. Bold recently caught up with Greg E. Hill, a motivational speaker out of North Carolina on the front lines of an effort to reclaim a lost generation. A passionate speaker with a knack for entrepreneurship, he touts an impressive resume spanning working for Fortune 500 companies to youth development. Currently serving as a culture change agent, we asked Hill about how America can get back on the right path.
When asked about the state of the economy, Hill stated that we are at an impasse. If we do not improve education on a national level, we risk allowing more jobs going abroad or to foreign workers. Having started his first business making $100 a day selling sodas in school, the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship have been central themes in his development as an influencer. Education is the foundation for higher-skilled jobs and higher wages. According to Rank America, the United States ranks 14th in education. We are currently behind most South Asian countries, the United Kingdom, and Canada. How do we expect U.S. citizens to compete with foreign workers who are arriving more qualified for the highest paying jobs in the country?
When the economy suffers, almost certainly the first group to experience difficulty in the job markets is the African-American population. At the height of the Great Recession, according to stateofworkingamerica.org, 15.9 percent of African-Americans were unemployed, and 36 percent of working blacks were employed in low wage jobs. Compared to whites, who in the same time frame experienced eight percent unemployment, African-Americans from a financial standpoint were taking massive economic hits on every level. This influenced Hill to passionately speak to the minority community about the importance of education, entrepreneurship, and self-knowledge. Need proof? Look no further than his speech titled “Stop Dreaming, Start Being (Entrepreneurship).” In this powerful message to young adults, he sought to educate on the many reasons why dreams of financial independence rarely come to fruition and what the next generation must do improve its chances.
In Hill’s opinion, Americans ages 25-35 must take the wheel and drive this country in a new direction. If higher education is not an option, without a doubt, Hill said you must possess an outstanding tenacity and hustle to make it in today’s competitive economy. It’s never been a better time to become an entrepreneur and take control of your own destiny. With this generation being more savvy and familiar with computer technology than ever before, taking advantage of online profiles is a key ingredient to success. Believe in yourself, and all things in life are attainable. Hill believed in himself at all times. He had to learn fast how to make income as a youth, as economic hardships were all around him. Hill said he made his own business by buying Gatorades wholesale and selling them for 100 percent profit to other students and soon employed more students to work for him. This was in middle school. His “never say die” attitude led him to being voted North Carolina A&T Face of Campus, an outstanding member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., featured on The Great Mentor Show on The CW, and his own book titled Remember You’re a Genius.
Hill is bold, and when asked what makes him bold, he replied simply that no one could define his reality. America is in desperate need of the go-getter mentality. It is bold leaders in our communities who will ultimately put America back on the right path. Those special influencers willing to put their ego aside to stimulate the minds of a new generation will be the surgeons behind America’s recovery. While we wait to see what our nation will look like in the future, Hill has already donned his surgical gloves and mask, ready to do his part.
Hayden Williams III is a Pre Medical student at the University of San Francisco and the editor of the Voices section at Bold. He is a modern day renaissance man who blends biological and political theories to birth a new approach to philosophy, which he calls the “Biolithical” method. Hayden served in the United States Air Force after attending Morehouse College as a Psychology Major. While serving in the Air Force, he studied and became nationally certified as a radiologic technologist. Hayden hopes to one day help bring quality healthcare to developing countries around the world through the use of telemedicine.