Determination and concern for others shine forth from Hanson. His college advisor called him a “grounded and mature young man,” “a passionate and caring peer, learner and advocate,” and “a strong advocate for communities of color.” One of Hanson’s biggest heroes is his father, who despite medical and other challenges, “never gives up. He’s the best Dad I could ever ask for.” Because of medical problems and the necessity of frequent moves, Hanson says that for his family it has “been a struggle from day one.” But “I used school as a tool to help me get away from the life on the streets and focus on my education.” Outside of school he has found paid internships to help his family, and is especially involved with a group called Bronx Connect, which helps young people get out of the criminal justice system. Hanson hopes for a career in tech, but his goals are wider. “I constantly give myself reminders,” he wrote in an essay, “about the people who came before me like Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis, and so many others who grew up poor like me but still found ways to get out of that hole and become great figures in our country.”
For a Teacher Who Makes a Difference, Hanson wrote, “That's a hard question, I'm not even going to lie, does it have to be one?" But his final homage is a beautiful one: “Then it has to be Arisdehilys Reyes - Ms. Aris - my college advisor. I've only started talking to her for the past two years, but she's kind of like a second Mom to me. She's made the greatest difference to me by helping throughout my college process and just asking if I'm okay. Even in my worst times, she's really helped me out."
Many thanks to Sony Music Group for sponsoring Hanson through his college journey.