Stephen Hines '10

Stephen Hines '10

The Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) at Montclair State University has helped a great number of Montclair State students reach their academic goals through the years. Stephen Hines ’10 was one of those students, and he’s made it a personal goal to “pay it forward.”

Hines spoke at the 2013 Boys to Men Conference at Montclair State University. Boys to Men is an annual conference where high school-age boys from local school districts come to Montclair State for the day and attend workshops that focus on topics like healthy relationships, good decisions and the importance of an education. Hines is a role model many of the teens can relate to – “some people need younger mentors,” he said. He shows them that they can find professional success if they apply themselves in college and maintain a strong work ethic.

He wasn’t always a nose-to-the-grindstone student, though. During his first year at Montclair State, Hines’ grades were poor. College was new and stressful and he found himself on academic probation. Luckily, Dr. Delores McMorrin, his EOF advisor, had his back. Hines refers to her as his “mom away from home,” because she genuinely cared about his personal and academic well being, She helped to guide him back to good academic standing, not by doing things for him, but by showing him how to reach his goals for himself. She, along with other faculty from the EOF program, steered Hines in the right direction to graduate and take on the next stage in his life. “The EOF program is 90% of the reason why I am where I am today,” he said. “I can’t thank them enough.”

Today, he works in the Computer Forensics Department of Deloitte, a professional services company that provides financial and risk assessment services. He describes his job as “playing hide and seek on the computer.” When something needs to be found, he finds it. The job requires him to travel to Houston, Texas every week. In fact, despite living in New Jersey, Hines has only been to Deloitte’s New York City office once since he started there!

More than 400 students attended the Boys to Men Conference. These boys, mostly aged 15 through 18, are wading through the years that set up the rest of their lives. “You think you know everything,” he said when describing mindset of many high schoolers. When he shows how EOF helped him successfully complete college and start his career, “it’s the most rewarding thing.” To further his mission of helping students successfully navigate these difficult and sometimes confusing years, he’s become involved with campus recruitment. “I want to help,” he said.