August 9, 2016 3:08 PM

Tonya HinesCollege success begins as early as freshman year of high school says Tonya Hines, coordinator of inclusion and student engagement at Millikin University. Hines recently spoke at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church's annual back-to-school event on August 8.

Hines is a Decatur, Ill., native and MacArthur High School graduate, who went away to college for two years before joining the Army. After her active duty, she joined the Army Reserve, and her service helped her pay for finishing college.

Hines urged the students to seek opportunities for leadership, both in and out of school, and to document the dates and positions to use on college applications later. Academic excellence should be their first priority, she said, and will work in their favor in terms of financial aid, and athletics can do that, as well.

Hines also leads the Long-Vanderburg Scholars program at Millikin.

Click here to read more from Hines in an article from the Herald & Review.