Rapid City, S.D. – Julius Morris, a soon-to-be graduate from the criminal justice law enforcement program at Western Dakota Technical College (WDT), has been awarded the prestigious ‘student of the year award.’ He is only the second student in WDT history to win this honor.
Originally from Pine Ridge, Morris overcame poverty and adversity throughout his life. Before enrolling in WDT, he served almost four years in the army but was discharged due to an injury that required six surgeries. Despite these challenges, Morris remained committed to his education and community involvement.
Morris’s passion for helping others has made him stand out among his peers at WDT. Recognized for his leadership skills, community service, and academic achievements, he has garnered praise from both professors and fellow students alike.
“The way he answered questions, the passion that he had for kids, for people, for people doing the right thing – I thought he would make a great correctional officer,” said Joe Guttierez, Adjunct professor at WDT.
Currently working as a correctional officer at the Western South Dakota Juvenile Services Center under Pennington County Sheriff’s Office., Morris continues to demonstrate his dedication to making a positive impact on society. Upon receiving the award, Morris expressed gratitude and acknowledged its significance in shaping his future goals.
“I just never imagined me being, you know, looked up to like that,” said Julius Morris. “It’s like I’m making changes and I never imagined me being that important.”
With newfound confidence and determination stemming from this recognition, Julius Morris is poised to continue striving for excellence both professionally and personally. His story serves as an inspiration to those facing obstacles on their path towards success – proving that with hard work and perseverance – anything is possible.