Featured photo: Hailee Clack, provided by Hailee Clack
Written by Antonio Sweeney
Hailee Clack is a driven and passionate scholar who is a rising sophomore at Hampton University. She is currently majoring in political science, and minoring in economics, on a pre-law track. Hampton University is ranked one of the top Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the nation.
Leaving the state was a challenge for Clack, but she continues to defy the odds.
“Nobody talks about how hard it is,” she said. “It was hard emotionally being away from home at first, but at the same time I know I was there for a reason. At an early age I was exposed to HBCU culture by my grandparents. I’ll never forget my first homecoming at Texas Southern University. It was beautiful seeing a campus full of people who looked like me creating a name for themselves at a school that values their students. At that moment, I knew I had to attend a HBCU, and here I am now. I’m in love with my home by the sea!”
Despite being away from home, Clack flourished on campus by being involved with many student organizations and serving in leadership positions on campus.
“I got more involved with the Student Government Association Shadowing Program with the director of Political and External Affairs, serve with the NAACP, Political Science Club and Her Campus Events,” she explained.
Service runs in her family legacy as her grandparents are notable leaders in the Flint community: the Honorable Floyd and Brenda Clack. She plans to continue the family legacy and is now interning on “the Hill ” in Washington D.C. as an legislative intern with Congressman Dan Kildee.
“Being on ‘the Hill’ is an incredible experience, and I’m so grateful to be here. Coming from grandparents that are pretty well known in the community, I wanted to ensure that I received this internship because of who I am, and not what my last name is. I wanted to represent my city and my whole family the way they deserve to be represented. Though I do not live directly in Flint, I am still rooted here and this is where my home is.”
Clack’s ultimate goal is to attend the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University or Howard University’s School of Law, with hopes of practicing civil and corporate law with her own law firm.
Now flourishing in the nation’s Capitol, she looks back on her life.
“ If I could go back and give my younger self advice I would tell myself to stop worrying; God’s got you.”
The impact doesn’t stop there as Clack plans to provide more opportunities for youth in the city of Flint with her own non profit which is in the works.
“I want to put Flint back on the map for the right reasons. Flint is more than a water crisis or what outsiders think it may be. Flint has a rich history of changemakers. I want to continue to build on that history. I want to bring back the spirit of the city. First order of business is to fix the school to prison pipeline. I think that in order to fix the city, you have to start where the future leaders of the city are, and that’s within our school system. I plan to start my own nonprofit which will aim to provide HBCU exposure, mentorship and youth empowerment.”
Haliee Clack is one of many youth leaders that were raised in a village of people who believe in helping people.
“I would like to thank my church family (Vernon Chapel AME), family members and mentors for all the support along the way. I can’t wait to show the world what the 810 is all about.”