One glimpse of the precedent was all that was needed to put Tulio Huggins on a future path to jurisprudence.
The Upper Allen Township youth plans to study political science in college as a stepping stone to law school and the bar exam.
“It just sparked something in me,” said Huggins, recalling how he had noticed the write-ups on key Supreme Court decisions on the back pages of his government class textbook.
In many cases, ordinary people facing extraordinary injustice challenged the status quo by taking their case to the highest court in the land.
Time and again, Huggins read how individuals less powerful took on the system to become a powerful influence on the everyday lives of Americans.
“It doesn’t matter who you are, you can affect so much change,” said Huggins, a senior at Mechanicsburg High School. Two job shadow opportunities reinforced his aspiration to study law.
Early in his junior year, Huggins spent the day with a Camp Hill attorney who helped the needy navigate the complexities of disability compensation.
“It was cool to see what a lawyer can do for others,” he said. The other experience was as an honorary guest page interacting with state Rep. Sheryl M. Delozier (R-88) and her staff in her office and the legislative halls of the state capital complex.
This included Huggins attending a committee meeting in House chambers and listening in as Delozier talked one-on-one with groups representing her constituents in eastern Cumberland County.
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“It was very eye-opening,” Huggins said. “It showed me the excitement of politics.” Though intrigued by the interplay of personalities, he’s not sure if he would ever run for public office.
The son of a career Army officer, Huggins lived much of his life between New York and France before his family moved to the Mechanicsburg area the summer of 2014. His father Kevin is a retired colonel and former instructor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
While law may be a career pursuit, Huggins has already learned the lesson of persistence just by being an athlete on the school cross country and track and field teams.
“Cross country is one of the most intense sports,” he said. “It requires a lot of mental and physical energy.” His goal this fall is to get his time below 21 minutes in the 5K run.
Huggins is a leader in Christians in Action, a student group at Mechanicsburg High School. Club members participate in Bible study and prayer and last year raised money to buy gifts for Operation Christmas Child.
The gifts ranged from wash clothes and bars of soap to teddy bears and stuffed animals. Student volunteers packed the gifts into shoe boxes for shipment around the world.
“Being a leader in my faith, I can be an example, an inspiration for other people to look up to,” Huggins said. He wants to spread the Gospel, show others God’s love and work to ensure that everyone has religious freedom.
A member of the Town and Country Baptist Church, Huggins is active in the youth group connection team that organizes mission trips and spiritual retreats.
He looks forward to an annual summer camp in Maryland. Last year was an especially positive experience, Huggins said. “People were opening up,” he said. “We all grew closer in our faith.”