Tyler Hamblin just kicked off his senior season as a starting defensive back for one of the top teams in Minnesota, defending Class 5A state champion Cretin-Derham Hall. He's working toward landing a spot at a Division I college-football program, his grades keep soaring, and everything seems to be falling into place. Now, if he could only land a book deal for his second teen self-help book, he'd really be set.
Yes, you read that last sentence correctly. Hamblin, a 17-year-old with a 4.3 GPA who was raised by an academic single father, has already published one book: "15 Ways to Get A's", a self-help guide geared at improving grades for struggling students. Hamblin self-published "15 Ways", but word about the guide got out thanks to a publicity blitz that included interviews with virtually every local news outlet. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, he even got first-person positive feedback from a peer, with one student telling him that "15 Ways to Get A's" changed his entire approach to school.
Hamblin told Minnesota CBS station WCCO the book started as a simple road trip conversation between he and his father Ken, who worked in the Twin Cities teaching social studies to high school dropouts.
"I started in the car writing down bullets, what I think are rules I followed to get A's," Hamblin told WCCO.
His credentials as an athlete and author would be impressive enough, but Hamblin is even more than a starting defensive back and bookworm. The teenager has spoken at national conventions and has been one of the most vocal advocates for educational improvement and a national youth ambassador corps. According to the Star-Tribune, Hamblin wrote so many letters advocating a youth ambassadorship to President Obama that the Commander in Chief eventually had to respond.
He tries to lump all those goals in together with a non-profit called The Point for Youth Incorporated, which he founded and continues to run as president.
"He was kind of an undercover nerd for a while," Ken Hamblin, told the Star-Tribune. "He was really cool, but people didn't know how smart he was."
Now Hamblin is preparing to pitch his second book, another high school advice tome called "Putting Your A's to Work." He's trying to fit publisher pitching and promotion for the book in with the Raiders' season, senior classes and applying to college. While he's far from a decision, Hamblin has received interest from Stanford and a host of Ivy League schools, leaving him with plenty of decisions about his football and academic future.
Appropriately, the description of "Putting Your A's to Work" he gave the Star-Tribune seems ideally suited to sorting out just such a decision by using what he's learned so far.
"It's about applying yourself, how to use your education and not just saying you got A's," Hamblin said. "It's about how you use that to help you in the future, to make money, have fun and spend time with the people you love."
Photo from MySpace.com.
- Ken Hamblin