Maxwell Hill: From Campus Safety to Global Service

Honors College students champion community and global involvement, whether that’s through service projects, study away, or coursework that incorporates global perspectives.  For Maxwell Hill, that commitment didn’t start when he set foot on Purdue’s campus; it started with a passion he had as a teenager – soccer.

A northwest Indiana native, Hill has always been an avid athlete as well as a dedicated student, playing soccer for 14 years.  In late high school, he became aware of an opportunity to extend his love for sports to a broader community – an opportunity which blossomed into an initiative with global reach.

“I played soccer my whole life and loved the sport,” he said.  “My dad did consulting work for Millhouse Engineering in Chicago.  They were building a power grid in Nigeria, and someone from the company saw kids there playing soccer without shoes.  So we thought it would be a good summer project.”

What started that summer soon expanded in size.  Throughout his senior year of high school, Hill led shoe drives, refurbishing the shoes before sending them to Nigeria.  The project, which he named Africleat, resulted in more than 100 pairs of shoes, due in part to a partnership with Major League Soccer team Chicago Fire.  Hill’s father hopes to continue the project with Hill’s younger brothers.

At Purdue, his outside-of-the-box thinking has continued to flourish.  A sophomore in aeronautical and astronautical engineering, Hill’s pursuits are many and varied, from a side gig as a DJ to Grand Prix an interest in app development.  He is also a member of on-campus organizations, such as the Purdue EDM (Electronic Dance Music) Club and the National Society of Black Engineers.  The app project in particular is one that is still focused on creating solutions to help people – this time related to student safety rather than soccer.

“We’re working on an app to improve campus safety during night life – a sort of Uber system for sober driving.  This would include real-time data on where the cars are and who’s driving them.  This streamlines the information for safety so you don’t have to wait outside for long durations of time.”

Hill’s variety of interests and talents earned him the Balanced Man Scholarship, which is granted by the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity chapter on Purdue’s campus.  The scholarship, awarded at a banquet last semester, seeks to recognize the achievements of students inside and outside of the classroom, in pursuit of balance and all-around excellence. 

Community and Global Experience, a key theme in Hill’s achievements, is one of the Honors College pillars.  Click here to learn more information on the Honors College mission, and ways in which our students embody it.