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Graduation Spotlight: Elijah Hampton


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With graduation season right around the corner, we at PeerForward want to take the time to celebrate some of our amazing Alumni for their postsecondary education accomplishments. This week, we are spotlighting Alumni Elijah Hampton who is graduating from Southern Connecticut State University with a major in finance!


We caught up with Elijah to ask about how PeerForward shaped his views on postsecondary education, what it means for him to get this degree, and why he came back as a PeerForward Alumni. This is what he shared with us:

What does it mean to you to earn this degree?

Young man in graduation garb posing on the Southern Connecticut State University campus
Elijah Hampton on the Southern Connecticut State University campus.

This is a huge accomplishment for me and my family as I am the first male in my family to graduate college. It means even more that I was able to do it without having to take out any student loans.

What role did PeerForward play in your journey to and through college?

PeerForward surrounded me with a bunch of positive influences that showed me it’s cool to be smart and it’s cool to go get an education. It also helped me embrace that I’m not like everyone else and that, instead of conforming to try to fit in, I should allow myself to stand out, be a leader, and be a positive influence on others.

How did your friends/peers influence, inspire, or motivate you toward your degree? How did you do the same for others?

Young man in graduation garb doing a power fist
Elijah Hampton on the Southern Connecticut State University campus.

Throughout my journey I’ve kept in contact with the counselors and friends I’ve met from PeerForward and they always had an encouraging word to give me when I felt like I did not want to go on anymore.

What was the biggest obstacle to your postsecondary education and how did you overcome it?

My biggest obstacle was working while going to school. I was a full time student and a full time worker. Trying to find a balance between both was extremely difficult, especially working the late night/overnight shifts and having to be in class at 8am. It was mentally and physically draining to the point where I wanted to give up multiple times. Hearing the messages from friends and family and knowing that I had support system that was rooting for me helped me move forward. I was able to achieve my goal of graduating college with no debt and I’m so happy I did.

Why did you choose to serve as a PeerForward Alumni?
I chose to be serve as PeerFoward Alumni because they became a family to me. PeerForward wants to see you achieve your goals and live out your dreams and they will help you get there. At first, I thought PeerFoward would just be a program that would fun in high school, but now I’ve learned it’s a support group/ family that will help you achieve success for a lifetime!
Some responses have been edited for length and clarity.