Student Spotlight: Delonte Hough


Photo by: Kaitlyn Luna

Delonte Hough, a junior middle-level education major, wants to make a difference in the lives of young African American men.

A Darlington native and middle-level education major, Delonte Hough is pursuing his dream of becoming a teacher to try to make a difference in the lives of young African American men.

“There is this concept: pipeline to prison,” Hough said. “It means that by the time an African American boy is in the third grade, we can start numbering and labeling the amount that will go to prison. If I can inspire, if I can change five young men each year that I teach, I will make a difference. Those young men will go back into their families, their neighborhoods and make a difference.”

Hough said he hopes to get a job teaching in Darlington following graduation next year, with a purpose to pour back into the community that he came from.

“I feel like we need to have educators that are from Darlington teaching in Darlington,” Hough said. “It is cool to see their teacher at the local Walmart; to see them at a Darlington football game. It’s good for them to see that connection.”

While he now has a love for teaching, Hough said he didn’t always feel the same way. When he was in high school, he wanted to be a cardiologist.

“I initially didn’t want to be a teacher, I wanted to be a doctor,” Hough said. “After taking anatomy in high school I realized that it wasn’t for me. My principal asked me to take Teacher Cadets. I originally was like, ‘Why am I taking this class? I don’t want to be a teacher.’  But I kind of fell in love with it.”

While many students turn to something personal to motivate them to succeed, for Hough that motivation is even more personal; he wants to succeed for his dad.

“My dad passed away from pancreatic cancer when I was about eight years old,” Hough said. “Due to some hardships in his life, my dad was not able to attend college. I feel like in everything that I am doing a part of him is with me. Because he wasn’t able to do a lot of the things I am, I am doing this for both him and me.”

Hough said he wants to encourage young people to be comfortable with who they are. He said to never lose sight of who you are, or try to change for anyone else.

“It may sound crazy, but I would rather fail at being myself than to succeed at being someone else,” Hough said. “It’s important to be you. There is only one you. You are unique. You are original. You’re genuine. Don’t ever let anyone tell you to be someone else.”

While Hough has been an active part of the FMU community, he almost didn’t come to the university. Prior to graduating from high school, he applied to more than 32 colleges and universities all over South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.

“I wanted to go to a different university, but after visiting I fell in love with Francis Marion,” Hough said. “What really caught my attention was the dean; before I even was a student here, she knew my name. When I went to an event on campus, she called me by my name. I was like, ‘Wow, I probably won’t get this anywhere else.’”

While grades are important to him, Hough said he wished prior to college someone had told him to concentrate on learning course content rather than the letter grade.

“Getting all A’s is a good thing, making a 4.0 is important; but I wish someone would’ve told me that it’s OK to realize that on every assignment you are not going to make an A,” Hough said. “Twenty years from now I’m not going to care about the grade I made in a class, but I won’t forget the steps to meiosis, because I chased the knowledge and not the letter grade.”