Classroom Champions: Vanguard's Kendee Hilliard

WACO, Texas- Kendee Hilliard is all in on Illinois State University. The Vanguard senior committed to play volleyball at the school over a year ago, and will sign this week.

“It's been a humbling process because you work really hard for something, and you finally get it,” said Hilliard.

Hilliard says she has been aiming for a volleyball scholarship since 6th grade. She also participates in track and softball. The West volleyball star has also sought to increase her leadership roles in school programs like Fellowship of Christian Athletes, student council, and the Vanguard Ambassador program.

“(The progam) helps the other students, or younger students, or the foreign exchange students settle into Vanguard and look for students who are just like them and trying to figure everything out,” said Hilliard.
Hilliard is trying out a new club this year.

“I’m also on the chess club,” laughed Hilliard. “That is actually a new thing that I’m starting to try. I've been interested in it. Because it's all about the next step and the steps afterwards. Not just the step you're on. Looking forward to the future.”

Hilliard has taken those chess club lessons to heart. Already planning for her future, Hilliard will graduate Vanguard in December to enroll early at Illinois State. She will also graduate with 23 hours of college credit. Putting her well on her way to reaching her goal of one day being an athletic director.

“I particularly admire students who are driven, who have goals, and have the discipline to pursue them but who also have an easy going good nature, that make the classroom a more productive place,” said Wendy Allman, Hilliard’s former English teacher. “As opposed to a place where people are tense because they have to reach their goals. So she's absolutely serious about her goals, but she was easy going, good natured, in the classroom.”