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Alumni Spotlight: Emanuel "Boo" Milton '17

Alumnus Emanuel "Boo" Milton is trying to make the world a better place, one community at a time. Milton '17 is currently a creative strategist, entrepreneur, and artist living in the Baton Rouge area. As his career has evolved, Milton has found his passion as a community organizer—striving to promote unity and innovation in communities across the country.

At such a young age, Milton has already had a diverse career. He's planned countless charitable events in his community that aim to raise funds for local non-profits while bringing members of the community together. His work and ideas have garnered national recognition from The Obama Foundation, and he's even been featured on the talk show LIVE with Kelly and Ryan. Most recently, Milton recorded and released his first EP titled Hope is Everywhere. Still, he wouldn't be where he is today if it weren't for his time at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Originally from Baton Rouge, Milton didn't plan to attend UL Lafayette for college. However, he knows that he landed where he was meant to be. "I don't think I would be the person I am today if I had not attended UL Lafayette," said Milton. As an undergraduate student, Milton decided to major in music business. Shortly into his college career, Milton discovered the radio industry. He landed an internship at Baton Rouge radio station Max 94.1. He soon had a permanent position at the station as a radio personality—all while a UL Lafayette student.

After graduating from the University, Milton moved back to Baton Rouge to continue his radio career. Throughout his work, Milton had always planned large events and gatherings. However, he began to feel a calling that he was meant to do more for the community. "As my heart started to change, my events started to change too," said Milton. He started planning significant community engagement events that sparked the attention of a representative from Cities United.

Cities United, an organization aimed at reducing violence in communities, reached out to Milton to see if he would be interested in a yearlong fellowship. Milton took the opportunity of a lifetime and spent the next year traveling the country, learning from other community leaders, and growing as a young professional himself. At the end of his fellowship, Cities United offered a position on their Advisory Board to Milton. After this life-changing experience, he knew that he was meant for this kind of work. So, he decided to leave the radio industry in 2019 to pursue a career in community engagement and event hosting full-time.

Since deciding to devote his life to community activism, Milton has led many initiatives in the Baton Rouge area. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Milton worked with local officials to safely provide drive-in Wi-Fi hotspots to the community. He also launched his activity kit called Spark Box. Spark Box is a series of activity kits for children ages six through eight that focuses on social awareness and critical thinking through creativity and social-emotional learning. Because of his efforts, over 2,000 Spark Boxes have been distributed to children across the country throughout the pandemic.

Now, Milton has decided to explore another interest in his career—music. After taking a hiatus from producing and writing music, Milton has recently gotten back into the studio. With the recent release of his EP Hope is Everywhere, Milton feels like he truly understands who he is as an artist and is ready to explore that side of himself.

In the future, Milton hopes to continue to pursue both of his passions. "I'm really focused on getting deeper in my community work but also allowing myself the time and space to be the artist that I know I am," said Milton. As his career evolves, Milton is ready to see where his life will take him. Most importantly, he's determined to take big risks and live out his dreams. "Anything that you want in life is just one bold idea and an email away," said Milton. There's no doubt that Milton has a bright future ahead of him. With his tenacity and determination, any bold idea can turn into a reality.

Photo: Headshot of Emanuel "Boo" Milton. Photo Credit: TheArtHype