Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts, Class of 2021
Incoming Freshman, Langston University, Class of 2025
My name is Dacia Hindsman. I was born in Kansas City, Missouri. I was selected as the Valedictorian of my class at Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts. Also, I graduated with my associate’s of arts degree because I participated in the Early College Academy Program. For extracurriculars, I participated in Track and Field, Cross Country, P.A.V.E the Way, and the A+ Program. Lastly, I was accepted into the Student Board of Directors at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and the 20/20 Leadership Program. Outside of these organizations, since the age of twelve, I have been an entrepreneur. Today, I manage a lawn care service and a clothing business. I plan to continue to excel academically and expand my entrepreneurship.
What did it mean to be the class valedictorian? Who was the biggest support to you in reaching this achievement?
After my eighth-grade year where I earned Valedictorian in middle school, I dreamed of earning the title again in high school. Being selected as the valedictorian meant that I was a student who dedicated my life to succeeding academically every day throughout my high school experience. Even though I participated in many outside school extracurriculars that overloaded my days, I still made my education my main priority.
Managing many responsibilities and tasks made me realize it is beneficial to have a great support system. Luckily, I did not only have my family, but I also had the support of a track team, classmates, teachers, counselors, coordinators, and volunteers in other organizations to seek guidance. A few people I can directly name that greatly influenced my academic path are Joyce Nguyen, Dajaun Hindsman, and Elvin Mosley. Mrs.Nguyen, a KCPS counselor, helped me win the majority of the scholarships that I won this year. She shared scholarship opportunities with me, wrote a recommendation letter, and took the time to revise my essays.
My sister, Dajaun Hindsman, introduced me to the Early College Academy program, which allows high school students to earn a high school diploma and associate of arts degree. My sister also taught me how to manage my school work, business, and extracurricular responsibilities. She encouraged me to not be a quitter, only to succeed.
Lastly, Coach Mosely, my cross country and track coach has shown me how to be a leader by helping other athletes improve. Also, Coach Mosely helped me find my new home, Langston University, by connecting me with a track and field coach. Thanks to him, I am attending Langston University on a full academic ride.
You have set up two of your own businesses: how did your experiences prepare you to do this work? What are you most proud of with these businesses?
At the age of twelve, my family was not in the best place financially. Luckily, my mother’s boyfriend, Mark, helped support us. My mom encouraged me to start my lawn care service in 2015. I was able to afford unimportant things like snacks and paying for a movie ticket.
This year, I started a clothing business called MOOD Attire with my youngest sister, Loren Hindsman. I started the clothing business because I was inspired by one of Loren’s drawings and thought others would be impressed by it too. Also, I enjoy dressing up everyday and showing people my sense of style. Wearing our brand makes me feel whole and alive.
For both of my businesses I am most proud of how much I have grown throughout my entrepreneurial path. For my lawn care service, I have learned how to build lasting relationships with clients, time management, and how to persevere. Working along with Loren has taught me patience, how to communicate more effectively, how to get in touch with my creativity, and how to advertise a product. On this journey, I have met very nice and supportive people within and outside my community. They have shown me that anything is possible as long as you work for it. Having a great support system has helped me proceed in my entrepreneurial endeavors. I plan to continue managing both businesses and sharing them with the world.
What does it mean to you to be going to Langston University on a full-ride scholarship? What are your college and career goals?
At the beginning of the year, I was very stressed and overwhelmed because I did not have many funds to help pay for college. Applying to scholarships and taking time to practice for the ACT had benefited my financial position in college. When I was notified that I was accepted into the Honors Program at Langston University, I almost cried in joy. I felt that a lot of weight was lifted off of me.
My college goals are to connect and network with peers and faculty. I would like to learn about different cultures and beliefs while in college. Also, I am hoping my classes at Langston University will set me up to be a great candidate for a marketing firm after graduation. I am interested in marketing, specifically becoming a project manager or copywriter because both positions fit my natural talents. My natural talents are poetry, organizing, managing, networking, thinking outside the box, and finding solutions. I strongly feel that marketing is the career path that is right for me.
What example do you want to set for the younger students that look up to you? What advice would you give them?
The example that I want to set for the younger students is to not give up on anything you signed to commit to. Also, follow through with your academics because, in the end, it is all worth it. Learn to respect people who might be different from you because you can learn a lot from them. Whether it is spiritually or intellectually. Lastly, this is cliche but follow your dreams. Many people would think it is crazy for a 12-year-old girl to have a lawn care service, but I did it. If you want to achieve something or start a business, do it! For those who cannot see your vision. Know that your mind and eyes will one day become the living proof for your spectacular idea. As long as you live you must dream, work, connect, share, and inspire. I guarantee that this path will lead you to success!