By Jocelyn Pedersen
The Norman Transcript
Noble native, Marvin Hill, recently received his 30-year pin from the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs. Hill, graduated from Noble High School in 1977, earned his degree in social work from East Central State University in 1981 and has worked with the state of Oklahoma helping youth his entire career.
After graduating from college, Hill started as a social worker with the Child Welfare Unit, Department of Human services, where he investigated child abuse for just over three years. Hill said in April 1985, he went to work with delinquent kids and “have been there ever since in different capacities. I’ve done a lot of different programs over the years, always associated with the kids who were at odds with the law.”
Hill has held many positions in Court Related and Community Services in Cleveland County and other areas within the Office of Juvenile Affairs including Juvenile Probation/Parole Counselor, Assistant District Supervisor, Program Manager, Administrator of Programs, Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center and is currently Assistant Division Director, Community-Based Youth Services Division.
Hill’s cousin, Bob Usry, said Hill always had a passion for helping youth.
“Marvin’s sister, Marilyn always had a thing about stray dogs and that’s the way Marvin is about kids,” Usry said. “Some boys (in the system) would get to a certain age and he buys those boys a new shirt, starches it and takes them out looking for a job. He took a girl out to eat because it was her birthday.” Usry added, “He has helped so many become better people when the odds were against them for the homes they came out of. He’s just a tremendous individual.”
Of kids who were aging out of the system or whose cases were about to close, sometimes Hill would see needs where there was no place to get help. Humble to the core, he said, “We as social workers and staff would come up with things like furniture and clothes for these kids. When you work with kids, you care about them. You try to give them a leg up and give them a start.”
Hill explained that kids who go through these programs get something out of them, but they don’t have that much support as they come out. “If they have some help, it gives them a much better shot at being successful,” Hill said. “That’s what you want to do, to give them every opportunity possible to get out and be successful.”
Known for his compassionate and helpful attitude toward youth, co-worker and friend, Kim Sardis, who now works for the Legacy of Hope Foundation in Norman, helped initiate the Marvin Hill Youth Empowerment Fund slated to help youth and families in need. The fund will offer help when parents and caregivers have exhausted all other resources to meet the needs of children. Funds will be used to purchase the immediate and crucial needs for youth in crisis — items like food, clothing, personal and household items, recreational supplies, educational costs/fees, medical costs and transportation.
“I’ve known him (Hill) since 1988 when I started to work with OJA,” Sardis said. “He always went above and beyond helping kids in the system, being a true social worker to kids int the system. He was always very passionate about helping kids not only in the OJA system, but in schools. He has a heart of gold. He was a mentor and a teacher to me and still is. He’s courageous and brave and a very giving and passionate individual.”
Hill didn’t know about the fund in his name until it was announced at his pinning ceremony. “It was a surprise to me. I thought it was quite an honor and it touched my heart,” he said. “It will help them (youth) leave a program and go out into the community.”
Over the years, Hill has served the community in many ways and has been a member of the Noble City Council, as well. Currently on administrative leave due to a health issue, his mother, Margie Hill has been appointed to finish out the remainder of his term.
Hill and his wife, Jody, live in Noble.
For more information about the Legacy of Hope Foundation and the Marvin Hill Youth Empowerment Fund, visit www.legacyofhopeok.org
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