In a world that has recently become obsessed over Marvel superhero movies and stalking celebrities’ social media it is hard to remember what a real “hero” looks like. What does a hero do if they don’t smash up buildings or defeat bad guys from another planet? Society is constantly giving us ideas of what a “pretend” hero should look like, but what about real heroes?
Those that are close to Rep. Timothy Hawkes, R- Centerville, say that he has everything that it takes to be a real hero. Becky Hawkes, Tim’s wife of 22 years, said that she believes her husband has all the qualities a true superhero should have.
“He is honest to his core, knows how to laugh at himself, and he just genuinely has a great heart and truly wants to do what’s right,” Becky said.
Tim truly does take on the role of a superhero in his life. With more jobs to do then he has time for, he certainly has many people depending on him. Along with being a husband and a father of four, Hawkes is also a representative for the State Legislature, a director for the non-profit group Trout Unlimited, and an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University teaching a class on media law. With all these different roles that he takes on, it’s a wonder how he has time to focus on himself. But, Hawkes says, “helping others and trying to make a difference is really what I want to do.”
Hawkes has always had a desire to help others which is what initially got him interested in studying law. As a kid, Hawkes says he first decided he wanted to be a lawyer when he watched “To Kill A Mockingbird” and saw the courage in Atticus Finch. “Ultimately, it was his story that got me interested in law,” Hawkes said.
This desire led him to go on to study political science at BYU where he also met his wife Becky. After marrying in 1994, they moved to Manhattan where he continued to study law at Columbia University. He then went on to work for big law firm companies first in Baltimore and then in Washington D.C. But while Hawkes loved how his position allowed him to help others he didn’t feel fulfilled in his life. He decided to change what he was doing and go in a difference direction. “I love the outdoors and I love nature, so I decided I wanted to do resource conservation and environmental stuff. I really wanted a job where I felt I would have more meaning, value and significance.”
This is what pushed him to move his family back to Utah where he began working for Trout Unlimited.
Hawkes lived a simple life as a father, husband, and a company director. He became a soccer coach, a math tutor, a chauffeur, and a cook among other things. But, although he tried to take a break from politics, he couldn’t stay away permanently. Being involved in law is “in his blood,” said Becky.
Hawkes decided to re-engage in the political realm by running for a seat in the Utah Legislature in 2012. He lost that race, but didn’t let that stop him and he tried again in 2014. That year, he won the general election vote with 76 percent of the votes cast.
Hawkes continues to work closely with the Utah Legislature where he finds enjoyment in working with other state representatives. His colleagues and friends would agree that Hawkes is “not your average politician” because he truly strives to help others and doesn’t push his own agenda. Rep. Mike Schultz, R-Hooper, works closely with Hawkes at the Legislature. “I don’t think I have met a lot of guys with his kind of integrity,” Schultz said. “I know that anything I say around him will stay between the two of us.”
His integrity and willingness to serve are a few reasons why so many people look up to Hawkes.
“I would say he feels very passionate about serving and leaving a good mark on the world. He feels very strongly about certain issues and has talents that allow him to make a difference,” said Becky.
When he finds the time, Hawkes is also a teacher. Hawkes, or as his students know him, Professor Hawkes, teaches a course on media law at BYU. Bailey Fruit, a 21 year old junior, is part of the communications program as a public relations emphasis student. She had Hawkes as her teacher and really learned a lot from him. “He was very relatable. He always taught with examples that we could understand and things that were important,” Fruit said. “He wanted us to be equipped to be able to take on the world.”
Hawkes finds great fulfillment in being able to teach. “If you know a student learns something or changes their perspective on something, that’s really valuable. I want to do things that have meaning, and both teaching and politics come from that same place,” he said.
Hawkes truly is someone who wants to help make a difference for those around him, which is the mark of a true hero. He hopes that his students can become driven by their own passions to find their way of making a difference in the world. He wants them to be able to “navigate through those gray areas of law, politics, or even their own faith.”