Hamilton: ‘I want to continue to break barriers’

Graduating psychology student Soladeen Hamilton anxiously awaits the walk he will take across the Lawson Center stage on May 5. This is no ordinary walk as Hamilton will be the first of his nine siblings to claim this proud achievement. 

“I’ve been anticipating this day since stepping foot on the hill. I cannot wait to see my mother’s face after I walk across the stage,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton prides himself on being a positive role model to his younger siblings. Being away at school might have taken away his physical presence but it didn’t take away the influence Hamilton has on his siblings. 

“I am proud to be able to call him my brother. He is the first of my siblings to graduate from college and he is always there for me. He makes me so proud to be his little sister,” said Hamilton’s younger sibling, Ohonna Hamilton. 

Since his arrival to Florida A&M University in the summer of 2014, Hamilton has built a reputation of being a personable student leader on FAMU’s campus. Hamilton, affectionately known as “Solo,” ran a successful campaign his freshman year that won him a seat in the 45th Student Senate and was the first of his many successes in student leadership. He served on the two-time award-winning Student Relations Committee (SRC) during his freshman and sophomore year and eventually became the SRC chairman. In addition, he was a peer mentor with the First Year Experience (FYE) Peer Mentoring Program and a proud member of Big Brother Little Brother Mentorship Program. 

Hamilton’s academic advisor, Crystal Flowers, said, “Solo arrived at FAMU four years ago, young, bright, and ready to take on the hill. He has grown by leaps and bounds, earning his place among the who’s who of FAMU. I am beyond proud of Solo and wish all the best in the future.”

Hamilton’s first experience at FAMU was when he participated in the Black Male College Explorer’s Program, a program designed to prevent black males from dropping out of high school, facilitate their admission to college, and increase their chances of earning a college degree. While most of his peers were in Tampa enjoying a school-free summer, Hamilton embarked on this six-week program in the summer before his senior year of high school that would secure a place in his heart for FAMU. 

In addition to the program, Hamilton credits his older cousin DeVon Hamilton, a graduate of Bethune-Cookman University, as the main influence ofnhis decision to attend a historically black university.

“I’m so glad I attended a HBCU. I was able to foster many life-long relationships and receive the grooming I needed for the real world,” said Hamilton. 

After graduating, he wants to move back to his hometown of Tampa to pursue philanthropy while earning a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of South Florida. He is currently interning at the office of U.S. Rep. Al Lawson and serving as a fellow for Health Care Voter, a national health care awareness campaign based in Washington, D.C. 

“Graduating from college will not be my most momentous moment in life. I want to continue to break barriers, make my family proud, and be an example for my younger siblings,” said Hamilton.