Harvey native, ‘Chicago PD' actor LaRoyce Hawkins visits his alma mater

LaRoyce Hawkins visits Thornton Township High School in Harvey, his high school alma mater

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You know him from the NBC hit drama Chicago P.D., but despite being sidelined by the SAG-AFTRA strike Harvey native LaRoyce Hawkins is keeping himself busy with community work in his hometown. 

“I was really getting to know myself as a young performer in this room, so it’s always special being here,” says Hawkins, as he walked into the ‘little theatre’ room at Thornton Township High School in Harvey.   

The room is where students at Thornton Township high school take drama classes.

He graduated from this south suburban Harvey high school in 2006, and got his first professional acting gig soon afterwards.

Hawkins explains, “It was a big blessing, not just for the family, but for the community.  It gave us something to kind of rally behind . It gave us something to look forward to.”

He never forgot where he came from, and he was always intentional about giving back.

“I spent a lot of time coming back to Thornton talking to classrooms with my favorite teachers,” says Hawkins.

He worked with local artists to create a colorful mural on Broadway Avenue in Harvey, across the street from city hall, not far from the school. He also partnered with Thorton alum Jason Clark on a big presentation with the senior class last year called the Transition Summit. 

“We introduced the young minds here to professionals that are alumni from the school of Thornton, to help set them up for great things," Clark said.

Normally, Hawkins would be filming now, playing Detective Atwater on the NBC drama "Chicago P.D.," but filming is on hold indefinitely due to the SAG-AFTRA strike. 

In the meantime, he’s been writing poetry, with the hopes of setting up a poetry tour. He’s also spending a lot of time with family. 

“My son just started first grade yesterday and so being able to walk him into the classroom felt great. If I was at work I don’t know if I would be able to do that," he said.

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