Recent MVSU grad Hawkins sets out to change the world through chiropractic

July 9, 2020

ITTA BENA, Miss.— 500 Internal Server Error

Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error and was unable to complete your request. Either the server is overloaded or there is an error in the application.

However, during one of those low points— rehabbing from an injury he suffered as a member of the MVSU Baseball team, the DeValls Bluff, Ark., native discovered the path to his future.

"While playing baseball, I, unfortunately, injured my shoulder. The traditional doctor visits were typical, and I was subjected to nothing more than steroid shots and pain medication. I became frustrated because their treatments were ineffective and very costly," Hawkins shared.

Hawkins believed there had to be something more that could be done, and that curiosity led him to speak with Dr. Dorothey Pernell, a local chiropractor in Greenwood, Miss.

"It was there I fell in love with the practice. She opened my eyes to the endless possibilities, and in a short period, she demonstrated the art on my hurt arm, and it felt amazing,” he said. “I knew then that becoming a chiropractor was something I had to do to help others who felt like me and wean them off those addictive pain medications."

Now, the 2020 honor graduate of MVSU with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology will be moving on to explore earning a higher degree. In the fall of this year, he will be entering Cleveland University Kansas-City to obtain his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree. Cleveland University-Kansas City is a private university in Overland Park, Kan., and is well-known for its chiropractic doctorate program.

"I was first introduced to becoming a chiropractor while taking Anatomy and Physiology as a sophomore under Dr. Rachel Beecham. But it was not until the senior year that I solidified my decision," Hawkins said.

"I am a small-town boy with big dreams. Education has always been a top priority in my life. I could never imagine that the path laid out for me would lead to where I am now. The transformation from an ‘A’ student in elementary school, to valedictorian of the 2016 class at Jacksonville High school (Jacksonville, Ark.), to a 2020 honor graduate of MVSU has been nothing short of amazing."

Hawkins explained the huge role MVSU played in his development as a student and as a man.

"Through God's will and divine plan, I was led to Valley, where I met my best friends, future wife, and incredible mentors," said Hawkins.

“The HBCU culture made me feel at home. I was able to settle-in knowing that I felt wanted, and Valley embraced me. The comfort of being an African American male and not being a minority for once felt terrific," he added.

The level of comfort at Valley helped Hawkins grow and develop, and he expressed how his instructors added to his experience.

"My instructors played a vital role in my development. Throughout my journey at Valley, they were influential in many ways. They were willing to meet me halfway. All I had to do was put in the work inside the classroom,” he said.

500 Internal Server Error

Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error and was unable to complete your request. Either the server is overloaded or there is an error in the application.

Once Hawkins has completed his program, he intends to serve because he believes that whatever comes next is bigger than him.

"I have always had that strong desire to help others, whether that was being a medical doctor, veterinarian, or any other career within those lines. The most important thing to me is that when people mention my name or practice that I plan on opening in the future, I want them to have nothing but kind words to say," he said.

"I may not be able to change the world, but I would like to leave such an impact on my patients that I change lives one person at a time. It is that simple. I try not to focus on the fortunes and things that could come as it would taint the vision. I truly believe that the universe will give back only as much as you put into it," Hawkins added.