44/60 At Temple University, Rob Hill, 30, a sports and recreation-management major from Philadelphia, was the king of community service. He provided emotional and physical support for Temple's wheelchair basketball team, the Rolling Owls.
Hill set up games at the Roslyn Boys and Girls Club and organized exercise sessions for the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation.
He snagged two great internships - one with the Philadelphia 76ers, working in marketing, and the other at the Legendary Blue Horizon, concentrating on arena maintenance. Another job? Cleaning and inspecting boxing gloves used in the matches.
So why can't Rob Hill get a better job than delivering pizza? It's not just the economy.
Hill served time in prison for selling drugs.
Growing up, family life was tough. His mother, a nurse, was dying, and was in and out of hospice. "It was chaotic," he said. "It wasn't a normal environment."
Hill, the oldest of three, became addicted. To support his habit and his family, he eventually started selling drugs. "I remember feeling a sense of accomplishment that I could give my Mom money when she needed it," he said. "I know now my thoughts were distorted because I was addicted myself.
"I know I stole hours of sleep from my mother," he said. "I know I hurt my mother and my community, but I didn't realize it then."
Arrested in November 2004, Hill pleaded guilty and entered a program that provided extra counseling. In December, he was allowed to leave prison to visit his mother on her deathbed and to attend her funeral.
Hill moved to a halfway house in August 2006. "The first semester of college that I completed in my halfway house, I actually made the dean's list," said Hill.
The program allows him to apply for a pardon - that's in the works now. If he gets it, he can move to have his criminal record expunged.
Update: As of December 2011, Hill is working fulltime delivering pizza, but yearns for a better job.
- Hometown: Philadelphia.
- Profession: Sports and recreation management.
- Experience: Marketing with the 76ers;
- Education: Temple University -
bachelor's in sports and recreation management.
- E-mail address: Rob.Hill44@yahoo.com
Hill dreams of scouting talent or hosting a sports radio show; he knows his chances for those jobs would be slim even if his resume were faultless. But when he can't get a job as supervisor of concession workers, reality stings.
"No one is giving me a chance," he said. Interviews will go great, but after the background check, his phone calls aren't returned and his e-mails go unanswered.
"I hate it," he said. "I think it's unfair. I know what I did was terrible, that it affected a lot of people. But I've been rehabilitated. I'm not the same person I was, but I don't know if I'll ever get over this."
The Inquirer is not endorsing this individual as a job candidate; potential employers should conduct their own background checks.
Contact staff writer Jane M. Von Bergen at 215-854-2769 or firstname.lastname@example.org.