Education can create opportunities where there were none possible before. Education equips people with tools to create a path for themselves out of any problem. No matter how the situation may be, an educated person can build a path to rescue themselves despite any adversity. The toughest situation can also provide solutions; all it takes is the fortitude and resoluteness of a person to find them. An educated individual is capable enough to look for and find these solutions to find their way out of the situation. In fact, an educated individual is capable of not only creating opportunities for themselves but can also improve the situation in the community they are a part of. So, it can be rightly said that education can not just help an individual; it is capable of lifting an entire community out of societal issues that it is afflicted with and making it better. Even poverty, the most common issue that afflicts at-risk and neglected communities, can be alleviated by improving the education situation of that community. And there are many examples around the world where even a single, educated person was able to improve the economic and social conditions of a community just by virtue of their dedication and passion for educating that community. 

While an educated individual can better themselves and access a higher income, have better access to opportunities throughout their life, and is comparatively healthier, an at-risk community can also benefit from education. When the percentage of educated individuals rises in a society, the crime rate plummets, more opportunities become available to all the individual members of the community, and the overall health situation gets better. And above all else, poverty also starts to decrease in the community due to education. To help a community out of its at-risk situation, the contributions of even a single individual can get the process of progress started. The dedication and the passion of these individuals are important for a community. One such individual who has been working to create opportunities through education for at-risk communities is Julius Paul Montgomery.

Julius Paul Montgomery is a community leader and mentor to members of individuals belonging to at-risk communities and has also served for 21 years in the U.S. Army. Born on July 19, 1941, in Clermont, Florida, Julius Paul Montgomery has dedicated his entire life to serving his country and the community he belongs to bring positive change. Julius began his military career when he joined the U.S. Army in 1959 and served with the U.S. Army till 1980. During his military career spanning 21 years, Julius served in various deployments with the Army. His initial deployment was with a combat tank company in Vietnam as an Operations Sergeant, where he was responsible for providing directions to various active combat elements during operations. This role as an Operations Sergeant required Julius to coordinate with infantry elements, airborne cavalry (helicopters), engineers, and other units involved in combat operations. Due to the exemplary conduct of Julius and the entire company in Vietnam, the company was recognized as Vietnam’s number one tank company and went on to receive a Presidential Unit Citation.

After his deployment in Vietnam in wound up, Julius was redeployed to South Korea as an Army Operations Sergeant in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea. Also, as a Senior Noncommissioned Officer, Julius served as the operations sergeant for a top-secret nuclear program directly linked to Washington.

After his deployment in South Korea, Julius became an Army Recruiter and was subsequently promoted to Army Recruitment Supervisor. While serving in this position, he created strong connections with several individuals, community groups, and schools in the community he served as a recruiter. Through his dealings with individuals in his community, Julius realized the need to help the community and, as a result, developed a passion for enabling the youth to become successful and contribute to the betterment of the community.

After Julius retired from the U.S. military, he energetically got into giving back to the society that enabled him to get this far. Today, as an educator, Julius provides quality educational exposure to the at-risk youth of his community. Hence, they have access to better opportunities, thus making their futures better and enabling their communities to become better. Julius achieves this through the Hero’s Club, a non-profit organization that provides education to young adults from high-risk communities. Julius founded Hero’s Club on June 19, 2019, aiming to empower the at-risk youth of the society to face challenges and ultimately transform them into positive influences for the betterment of the community.

Julius collaborates with volunteers, the community’s heroes, who work with him to provide mentorship to the students. The Hero’s Club campaign is built around the idea of volunteering and donating to make the community better through education.  

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