William Humphrey

Hometown: Marion, SC

high school: Marion HS

college: Brown University

MAJOR: Health & Human Biology

It was not long until William Humphrey matured into a gentleman whose passion directed talent for change. He is known by his family, peers, and mentors as a representation of generations empowered by possibility. He endeavors to defy racial stereotypes and to find the lost keys for the fettered impoverished. Passion and potential shaped him into someone who is not afraid to dream the loftiest of dreams, with the complete and utter intent of changing the world.

Humphrey was born to single mother, Vanessa Humphrey. Steven, his father, refused to establish any sense of fatherhood in the young boy’s life and left before Humphrey aged two years. His mother, from family plagued by poverty and lack of education, was forced to weather the pain of caring for three children on a scanty budget. When Humphrey was three, his mother was diagnosed with a mental disorder, placing Humphrey alone in foster care. After 12 years of foster homes and shelters, he reunited with his mother in a small, poverty-ridden town in South Carolina. Here, he resides today, alone, in the projects, while his mother is in a local rehabilitation center for mental health patients.

Humphrey refuses to let adversity shackle his potential and embraces his quickened maturation. Faced with the obstacle of keeping an apartment intact while remaining scholastically excellent, his faith remains tenacious. Humphrey found opportunity in education; it is his anchoring, and provides a foundation from which he is able to excel.

Humphrey dedicates himself to proving stereotypical expectations of black males completely wrong. He has maintained straight A’s in all of his classes since 9th grade as a Distinguished Golden Fox with a cumulative GPA of 4.9. He has been invited to his school’s Academic Honors Reception for the past three years, received over 14 awards for having the highest average in his classes and has been named Head Junior Marshal, a James Otis scholar, a University of South Carolina Upstate Scholar, a delegate to Palmetto Boys’ State, a delegate to the HOBY conference, a University of South Carolina Aiken Scholar, a William and Mary Scholar, and a National Horatio Alger Scholar. His determination has led him to Washington D.C as the only African American male delegate nationally recognized to attend the 2011 Congressional Academy. He was also named one of the first African-American Valedictorians of Marion High School and offered admission to the prestigious Brown University.

In all of his endeavors, Humphrey remains motivated by his potential to affect change. He finds it remarkable the idea that one person could embody the power to resonate global change, and reflects this in his completion of over 350 service hours in the last three years, time that was well spent increasing the awareness of the potential in children through extensive tutoring. Humphrey’s motivation can be summed up into his saying, “I do not want to be remembered as someone who sat around when change was needed, but as someone who employed every part of his being to affect change.”

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