A Publication of WTVP

40 Leaders Under Forty

As an admissions counselor for Northern Illinois University, De’Marcus Hamilton recruits high school students across Illinois and Missouri, working collaboratively to review applications, verify applicant information and materials, and make final approvals for college admission. He speaks to high school students across the state about college readiness and the admissions process, and has expanded NIU’s recruitment territory at a record pace, leading to a 10-percent uptick in applications.

As “Marc Supreme,” Hamilton is program director for Strictly Hip Hop (SHH) 90.7FM and executive producer and host of the RapPolitics interview show. Under his direction, SHH has grown from a two-hour radio show to become the region’s only hip hop station, providing a mix of music, news and culture while serving as a platform for local artists, businesses and organizations. Hamilton also helped launch RapPolitics, a collaboration with the Peoria Journal Star highlighting local stories from a grassroots perspective. His authenticity and relatability have made him an extremely impactful voice in the Peoria community.

Last year Hamilton helped draw attention to local elections by hosting the Mayoral Mini-Series on Facebook Live. He then worked with the Journal Star’s Chris Kaergard to host The State of Peoria, a 10-week interview series highlighting the candidates for Peoria mayor and city council. These efforts culminated with a three-day candidate forum in collaboration with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. His work has increased civic engagement and voter turnout in local elections while bridging the gap between youth and the older generations.

An active volunteer with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Peoria, Tri-County Urban League and Peoria NAACP, Hamilton is a graduate of the national NAACP’s NextGen Young Professional Leadership Program. As founder of the YANI Collective, he led planning for Peoria’s 2021 Juneteenth Celebration, which received an official proclamation from the Mayor and City of Peoria, and recently worked with the Peoria Art Guild to organize the Sophisticated Ratchet Art Affair, combining hip hop and visual art. He is a hard-working and humble innovator, committed to uplifting his community, especially its most marginalized and vulnerable populations. PM