For young people around the world, the future can be daunting, seemingly uncertain and daunting in its unknown nature.
Yet for Penn State alumna Haley McClain Hill, tomorrow is simply another chance to improve today and an opportunity to live fearlessly in pursuit of passion.
And in his case, the sky is literally the limit.
A U.S. Air Force veteran and former Penn State ROTC student, McClain Hill served four years of active duty after graduation. During this time, Lt. McClain Hill led a team of more than three hundred Airmen and was responsible for approximately $9.8 million in Air Force assets while serving in a recruiting role. within the Air Force Special Tasks Sector.
But the story was far from there, as McClain Hill quickly layered on another piece of the jigsaw in the athletic arts – performing at the highest professional level as an NFL cheerleader at the same time.
Moving to Atlanta, Georgia for a posting, the native of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania also took a chance and tried out for the Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders, cut out hundreds of dancers and crediting his success to the mentorship of Penn State alumni. As McClain Hill achieved his goals with the Air Force and the NFL, the Penn State community was there every step of the way, perhaps far but never far from mind.
“Wherever there’s a Penn Stater, you’ve got a friend,” McClain Hill said. “You have family here, which is best to know.”
Beginning his career at Penn State in 2013, the Air Force officer first learned the art of balancing passions without compromising authenticity. At home, the lesson was learned on campus as McClain Hill maintained academic excellence through her full ROTC scholarship while encouraging Penn State at the Division I level.
“I was running, changing uniforms and straight into my practice uniform,” McClain Hill said.
Majoring in math with a minor in economics, McClain Hill was driven to keep her schedule active, as she was driven by her grandmother’s involvement in the Air Force and the values of hard work and dedication. from his mother. Encouraging, studying and striving within the ROTC program, McClain Hill was recognized as the top of her class for field training in 2016, the ROTC equivalent of basic training, and also won the Warrior Spirit Award in the summer of 2015 for his attitude, academic excellence and energy.
“I’m very grateful and I feel like I want to do my school well and do myself well,” McClain Hill said. “I’m so proud to be a Penn Stater.”
Recognized in multiple forums during the undergraduate, McClain Hill was also singled out as an outstanding athlete by his coaches and teammates. As part of her lifelong dedication to service, McClain Hill was then asked to return as an assistant coach, coaching the cheer squad during the final year of her undergraduate career.
McClain Hill fondly recalls significant events with Penn State cheerleading, including trips to the Rose Bowl and cheering at the White Out game against Ohio State, as well as observing the enormous talent first hand. and driving through all of Penn State’s sports.
“Now that I’m older, I realize that I used to be cheering on the girls who go to the Olympics now, and I’m so proud,” McClain Hill said. “Those kind of emotions…and just being there around your siblings is so much fun.”
Elaborating on his time on campus, McClain Hill talked about another mind-building experience at Penn State, which provided child care for head football coach James Franklin’s two daughters.
“I was very busy, constantly doing homework and playing sports, and ended up babysitting for Coach Franklin for my last two years,” McClain Hill said. “These are the best people in the world, really just magical moments. It was the best experience with the best family ever.”
A testament to his personal character, McClain Hill found joy in every action, big or small, developing an unbreakable and lasting bond with his alma mater. As she reflected on professional cheering on national stages with the NFL, McClain Hill fondly remembered the feeling of Beaver Stadium as a distinguished moment in time unmatched by even the greatest professional cheerleading venues.
“There’s nothing like it,” McClain Hill said. “The energy, being there early and being so immersed in it… There’s so much emotion. You are just tied and your heart is with Penn State.
With roots established and standards reinforced at Happy Valley, McClain Hill has remained committed to the same authenticity in everything she does, most recently adding the title “entrepreneur” to her resume. Seeing an opportunity to do good that aligned with his core values, McClain Hill created TORCH warrior clothes in 2021, an apparel brand designed for the personal comfort and overall confidence of hard-working, driven, and passionate military women.
“When I started wearing my uniform every day, as a woman, I just wanted to be more comfortable,” McClain Hill said. “I looked online and there was nothing like it, so I decided I just had to figure out how to do this.”
Using his dynamic experience, McClain Hill has designed a line of coveralls specifically designed for a comfortable fit to accommodate and enhance military uniforms. The young entrepreneur-turned-CEO was also inspired by the time she spent clapping and energized the brand through the deeply rooted idea of empowerment through individual expression.
“With fashion and joy, ‘look good, feel good’ is a really big deal, look a certain way and live up to a standard,” McClain Hill said. “You really want to show off and take care of yourself. That’s really what it’s all about. »
With this in mind, McClain Hill researched beyond her own experience to design the details of each piece, applying the stories of female soldiers around the world to the crafting and message behind TORCH Warriorwear.
“I was noticing other women in the military who were on social media showing what they looked like out of uniform and what they looked like in uniform,” McClain Hill said. “There are other girls here like me, who have this desire to show the world that it’s more than just a uniform.”
“We are women too,” McClain Hill said.
Amplifying female voices around the world, the McClain Hill brand TORCH warrior clothes with a priority of power, a clear commitment to the uniqueness of femininity and the freedom to embrace all roles – both in and out of military fatigues.
“It’s just more than clothes. For women, it’s how we express ourselves and how we feel beautiful,” McClain Hill said. “When you wear a uniform 80% of the time, whether you serve in Australia or the United States, there is going to be a similarity there, and something is missing.”
Continuing the values behind the brand while striving to bring attention to all branches of the military, McClain has synthesized TORCH Warriorwear’s mission as a global call to embrace unique talents and find your fire on the path to full potential.
“There’s also the army, the marines, the coast guard, the reserves…” McClain Hill said. “This type of bodysuit connects a community of women who own the world, and they think, ‘I can be able to express myself creatively and still work.'”
Drawing eyes to the talents of female military personnel around the world, TORCH Warriorwear has expanded its international reach through online community builders, providing women with professional resources that are just as carefully curated as suits intentionally designed for their lifestyle.
With an official TORCH team of more than 200 military women as their supporting army, the sisterhood quickly flourished and fueled the brand’s philanthropic roots, which are well-aligned with their CEO’s original motivation demonstrated throughout his tenure. dynamic life.
“My biggest thing, and in college, what helped me was the women around me,” McClain Hill said. “You really should surround yourself with people who are going to inspire you, push you to the next level, and allow you to grow.”
Empowering women with tools specifically designed for their success, TORCH Warriorwear facilitates a conversation and fosters online inclusivity in another simple act: refer tracking to every service woman who follows the brand online. In addition to this show of support, McClain Hill also offers one-on-one business coaching through its Boots to Business program and plans to expand her brand to create a nonprofit for female veteran entrepreneurs in the future.
“It’s very important, especially for young women, to find mentors [and] find women who have done amazing, successful things and find a way to rub shoulders with them,” McClain Hill said. “Not to follow, but to be motivated.”
McClain Hill is more passionate than ever, and she shared a final note for young people about to embark on an ever daunting future.
“You have to take advantage of your gifts, you have to leverage your strengths, and you have to pursue those things that you are passionate about,” McClain Hill said. “Most of the time, if it’s on your mind, you can do it. Go ahead and see what happens.
Lighting the way through mentorship and messaging, Penn State alumnus and Air Force officer McClain Hill leads by example, challenging the perceived limitations that so often hold others back. Recognized for her excellence from the Air Force to the NFL, this young entrepreneur has lifted others around the world, while keeping her Penn State pride close as she passes the torch to the next generation of female entrepreneurs.