Paul Harris Fellowship Bestowed
He’s a clever man who went up front at Rotary to surprise someone else with a Paul Harris Fellowship. He’d soon learn – his head hid in hand – that the someone to be surprised was him, and Chief Jeff Lewis proved to be clever as well.
DJ Hilson was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship for service to the community at last week’s meeting. DJ was raised in a working class household by a mother who taught kindergarten and a father who served in the US Navy during the Vietnam War, before becoming a traveling salesman. From that family environment, DJ learned the value of hard work, setting goals, and always maintaining a positive and humble attitude. With strong support from his family, DJ set a goal, early in life, to become a lawyer. His pursuit of this goal was not easy but with a strong work ethic and perseverance, DJ reached the starting line of his career.
In 1996, Hilson was able to make the first part of his career dream a reality when he started law school in Lansing at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. While striving for academic excellence, DJ spent several semesters as an intern at the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office where he discovered a passion for criminal law and public service. With his education and experience, he knew his gifts and talents could be best used in dedication to public service as a prosecutor. Hilson graduated, with honors, from Cooley Law School in May of 1999 and was offered a position as an assistant prosecutor in Muskegon County in June of that same year.
During his thirteen years as an assistant prosecutor, he handled cases in the district court, circuit court and fam-ily court. His hard work and dedication to civil service was quickly recognized as he moved through the ranks of the office, reaching the level of Senior Assistant Prosecutor very early in his career. DJ’s commitment to prosecution earned him a spot on the drug enforcement team for the office after just one month on the job; he soon became team leader. As a member, and later as the head of the team, he provided 24/7 assistance to the local drug enforcement agencies, offered legal advice on search issues, drafted search warrants, handled civil drug forfeitures, and advised officers on confidential informant issues.
During this period of time, DJ married his wife Tricia, above with his parents, and they have been blessed with two sons and a daughter. Their love and support throughout his career has been DJ’s inspiration and motivation. Congratulations, DJ.