Student overcomes addiction, pursues Human Services degree

Two men and three women sit on a stage and participate in a panel discussion.

Not everyone has a clearly defined or easy path to success. For current St. Petersburg College student Ken Hilliard, that road involved working as a private chef, running his own restaurant, and struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. After receiving treatment and relocating to Florida, Ken decided to pursue an AS degree in Human Services at SPC, where he is now a valued member of campus life.

During his first semester, Ken spear-headed a student club to take the “anonymous” out of addictions in hopes of bringing light to the subject. He currently serves as the advisor for the club and practices the teachings of many thought leaders and is an advocate for meditation and other self-care practices.

A man in a collared shirt speaks to a crowd as part of a panel discussion.
Ken recently spoke on a panel with other professionals from the Human Services industry.

Because of his experience and dedication to helping others, Ken was also recently asked to speak at the Career Summit for Social / Behavioral Sciences and Human Services. He sat on a panel with other industry professionals and talked at length about the rewards of volunteering your time to improve the lives of other people.

Ken was highlighted for this student profile as part of Career & Technical Education (CTE) Month at St. Petersburg College. To learn more about the different CTE degrees and certificates that SPC offers, please visit If you would like to read additional student profiles for CTE Month, be sure to check out the other SPC blogs at as well as the SPC Facebook page and Twitter account.

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