Berkeley College Graduate from the Bronx Leaves Legacy as Voice for Social Justice and LGBTQ Issues and Sets His Sights on the Legal Field

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 5, 2022
Contact: Kelly Depsee
Director, Communications and External Relations
973-200-1099
KME@BerkeleyCollege.edu
BERKELEY COLLEGE GRADUATE FROM THE BRONX LEAVES LEGACY AS A VOICE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE AND LGBTQ ISSUES
AND SETS HIS SIGHTS ON THE LEGAL FIELD

Berkeley Hilton

Photo Caption: Amari Hilton of the Bronx, NY, will graduate with both an Associate’s degree (spring 2021) and Bachelor’s degree (spring 2022) in Legal Studies during the Berkeley College Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 13, 2022, at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Hilton served as President of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance, a club that provides a safe space for students, free of bias, stigma or social exclusion.

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Berkeley College graduate Amari Hilton’s advice to anyone considering their plans for the future: “Do not procrastinate – time waits for no one.” Hilton, a resident of the Bronx, NY, said he made the most of his time at Berkeley College through his studies and leadership contributions as President of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA), a club that provides a safe space for students, free of bias, stigma or social exclusion.

“It is important that we encourage environments that advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion,” Hilton said, referencing the mission statement of the GSA of bringing together students “who share a common vision of social equality.”

During Hilton’s tenure, the GSA organized dynamic speakers and events that focused on social justice topics, marking important events such as Transgender Day of Remembrance and LGBTQ Pride Month. Hilton has collaborated with the College to incorporate gender inclusivity in its Learning Management System, and has initiated campaigns to implement all-gendered bathrooms on campus.

 “Amari is an outstanding student leader and ambassador,” said Heidi Hoefinger, Faculty Advisor to the GSA and the 2022 Faculty Speaker for Commencement. “As a gay Black male, he leads our GSA club with passion, empathy and a keen eye for social justice.”

Hilton will receive both an Associate’s degree (spring 2021) and a Bachelor’s degree (spring 2022) in Legal Studies during the Berkeley College Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 13, 2022, at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Hilton recently accepted a position as a paralegal with Coffey Modica O’Meara Capowski LLP, a firm specializing in liability claims and medical malpractice in White Plains, NY.

In addition to serving as GSA President, Hilton was a Student Orientation Leader; a member of the Justice League club for students studying the Justice Studies and Legal Studies fields; and an honoree on the President’s and Dean’s List for high-achieving students.

Berkeley Hilton

Photo Caption: (Left) Amari Hilton of the Bronx, NY, recently accepted a position as a paralegal with Coffey Modica O’Meara Capowski LLP, a firm specializing in liability claims and medical malpractice in White Plains, NY. (Right) Hilton (second from right) and members of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance share information about the club at Berkeley College in Midtown Manhattan.

While Hilton said he faced challenges as a working student, he was encouraged to become more active on campus by the Berkeley College community, which he calls “family.”

“Professor Hoefinger encouraged me to strive, even at the low times,” Hilton said. “I was able to showcase such strengths as a result.”

Hilton also worked part-time in the Berkeley College Office of Career Services and as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal for New York Legal Staffing. He volunteered as a Debate Judge for the New York City Urban Debate League and a Member of New York City’s Reclaim Pride Coalition.

Hilton hopes to gain on-the-job experience at his new position with Coffey Modica O’Meara Capowski LLP, and to one day attend law school. His long-term goal is to become a judge.

“It has been a lifelong dream,” he said, referencing U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas among his inspirations. “Establishing a pathway where society can live in harmony is something I want to be a part of.”

Commencement Interviews: For more information on Berkeley College Commencement speakers, honorees and available interviews, click here.

About Berkeley College

Berkeley College, founded in 1931, is a career-focused institution accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education that offers students Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs in more than 20 career fields. The College also offers continuing education programs to enhance career credentials.

Berkeley College has campuses in Midtown Manhattan, NY, and in Newark, Woodbridge and Woodland Park, NJ, with more than 4,000 students enrolled. In addition, Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans, for nine consecutive years. U.S. News & World Report named Berkeley College (NJ) one of the Best Regional Colleges in the North in its 2022 edition of the Best Colleges Survey.  In 2021 Berkeley College (NJ) was also recognized for the first time as a Top Performer on Social Mobility among colleges in the region. The website address is http://www.BerkeleyCollege.edu.

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