Glynn A. Hill

Glynn A. Hill has been a provocateur since his prep school days.

Mr. Hill says the power of the written word first slapped him upside the head when he was a senior at St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia, where he was one of a few black students. He says he witnessed racism at the majority-white school, so he wrote an opinion piece in the student newspaper exploring uses of the so-called n-word. The article resulted in a school-wide furor, which shoved him into the spotlight, where he says both his peers and administrators demanded that he defend his writing. Mr. Hill says that was the first time he saw the impact his brand of journalism could create, as black, Asian and Hispanic students thanked him for publicizing their shared frustrations.

Now 21, Mr. Hill is a storyteller, writer, blogger, video journalist and sports commentator based in D.C., by way of West Philadelphia (He says insert “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” reference here). It’s an apt comparison considering he has been straddling cultural extremes — black, white, rich, poor — throughout his life.

Mr. Hill is a rising senior at Howard University and is studying political science and journalism. When not in class, he works as a sports commentator at the university. He was also the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Hilltop.

Managing a paper gave Mr. Hill a platform to continue to publish stories that challenge stereotypes. He says such editorial risk-taking have positioned him as being a credible voice about issues related to race, youth, sports and politics.

His article about the 2012 elections, for instance, countered narratives by pundits who expected a low youth voting turnout for President Obama’s second term. That piece was published in The Washington Post and TheRoot, an online magazine.

Mr. Hill received a swift pat on the back from the president during the 2014 White House Correspondent’s Dinner, where he was awarded the first Harry McAlpin Scholarship.

At The New York Times Student Journalism Institute Mr. Hill hopes to find new ways of reporting about the beauty and corruption in everyday life.

“I see stories in little things and that gives me a million ideas,” he says.

When not extracting the significance from commonplace events, Mr. Hill says he enjoys sports, and expressing his individuality through his collection of multicolored socks.