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Paducah Poet First WKCTC Diversity and Inclusion Award Recipient

Paducah poet Samuel Snacks Hawkins was recently named the first recipient of the West Kentucky Community and Technical College Diversity and Inclusion Award.

Hawkins recognition was announced February 22 at New Greater Love Missionary Baptist Church during the colleges 2015 Super Sunday, an
annual college fair event with the 16 colleges of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and local churches across the state.

WKCTC President Barbara Veazey presented Hawkins with the award during Sundays church service. To receive this recognition is humbling; I am truly honored, said 27 year-old Hawkins, a 2005 Paducah Tilghman High School graduate.

The award was created to recognize and commend outstanding individuals and organizations for their leadership and support of diversity and inclusion. We want to honor those who are transforming our diverse community into an inclusive environment where individuals become educated, are valued for their talent and able to reach their full potential, said Belinda Dalton-Russell, WKCTC vice president of student development and Super Sunday co-organizer.

Hawkins is a poet, performer, author of This is Why Kids Wanna Stay Up Late and community advocate who formerly served as a unit director for Paducahs Oscar Cross Boys and Girls Club. He has conducted over 300 live poetry performances and workshops throughout Kentucky to promote cultural understanding and responsiveness. Hawkins also shares his poetry with schools and community groups including diversity forums, cultural presentations, student and staff development, training, mentoring, and tutoring students of underrepresented groups.

Samuels commitment to promoting values of diversity, equity, education and inclusion makes him the perfect choice for our first award, said Dalton-Russell.
Writing since he was 14 years old, Hawkins said his poetry and performances come from a deeply introspective place and strive to celebrate differences and acceptance. I want to encourage people to be who you are - love yourself and serve others.

A 2009 graduate of Bethel College, Hawkins wants to continue to write and perform while earning a masters degree in writing with hopes to teach at a four-year university in the future.

Everything I do is from the heart; its never about me. Its about serving God and giving people hope. Then its just about having fun in life, which for me, is giving of myself.

For more information about the WKCTC diversity and inclusion offerings, contact Dalton-Russell at (270) 534-3081,