When 23 year old Hazim Hardeman was growing up, attending Temple University seemed like an unattainable dream.
“I’ve always described it [Temple University] as a different world for us,” Hardeman said.
Fast forward and the 2015 Temple graduate was recently informed that he is one of 32 recipients of the distinguished Rhodes Scholarship.
Hardeman grew up on 23rd and Diamond Streets, just nine blocks away from Temple’s main campus in North Philadelphia. When he was growing up, Hardeman and his friends would ride bikes through campus, trying to get into a world he thought of as distant from his neighborhood.
From the time he was a young boy, Hardeman’s mother always placed an emphasis on the importance of education. When she had to live away from Hardeman for a while to handle family issues, his grades slipped. When she returned and saw how poorly he was doing in school, Hardeman was able to turn it around so he wouldn’t disappoint her.
“Circumstances in my life took me away from my main focus, which was school,” Hardeman said. “When my mother came back in our lives I got back on track and became the student I knew I could be.”
After graduating from high school, Hardeman attended the Community College of Philadelphia. He said his time at community college helped him become a better student.
“I don’t think I would be here if it wasn’t for community college,” Hardeman said. “There are certain skills you need to have, like building relationships with your professor, that I was able to work out at CCP so when I got to Temple I was able to hit the ground running.”
When Hardeman got to Temple, he studied Strategic Communication in the Klein College of Media and Communication. He participated in the Inside Out prison exchange class. It was there that a professor approached him about the prospect of applying for the Rhodes Scholarship. From there, Hardeman received an institutional endorsement from Temple and completed his application, which included a personal essay. He submitted the application materials in the end of October. He was then selected as a regional finalist and had an interview. After that, he was notified that he was selected to be Rhodes Scholar.
Hardeman will attend England’s Oxford University and plans to earn a masters in political theory and another in sociology. It will be his first time traveling outside of the United States and he is looking forward to a new chapter in his life.
“I’m a scholar at heart,” Hardeman said, “Being at Oxford and being able to not only learn from the wonderful professors there but also from my peers is the most exciting part.”