Andrew Hinton was working in the shipyards around Norfolk, Virginia, when his young daughter was diagnosed with severe food allergies. That diagnosis, as stressful as it was, gave him the passion to change the course of his life, which led him to the UNC School of Medicine where he is enrolled in the Biomedical and Biological Sciences Program and beginning work towards earning his PhD.
Like a lot of young men from Virginia's Tidewater region, Andrew Hinton found himself working in the shipyards. And like a lot of those men, it was practicality not passion that led him there.
Hinton was looking for a way out of a bind. His grandmother, his anchor, his support, had recently passed away. All of a sudden, his college classes became a secondary concern. He needed to make some money. So he enrolled in an apprenticeship program typically offered to recent high school grads.
"They told me if I did the apprenticeship I could work and they would also pay for me to finish school," Hinton said.