I am a first generation American, fighting to make a change. You will always see me smiling behind a camera, dancing, or simply being with the people I love the most. I absolutely love being surrounded by people and children, I love helping others and although for some it maybe seem like I am going out of my way, it makes me happy to be able to create a difference in someone's life. Although it may not have seemed so obvious during the semester, I'm the type of person you will always see smiling and being joyful no matter what is going on in her life. I believe a smile is contagious and it is able to make some else's day just a little brighter. I can fall 100 times and still get up and fight for what I want.
I love animals especially my dog, Taffy, he is literally like my child and acts like one. I was born in Mission Viejo, California but I love the fields, horses and country side. I am a country girl at heart, I love to be adventurous and explore unknown roads.
“So kind, so genuine, you are the physical form of an angel on Earth”
“Your smile brightens my day. Love your attitude and bubbliness. So fun to be around.”
"You inspire me in every way & I look up to you.Thank you for just being you, always be you, don't ever change that strong humble beautiful soul. I love you with all my heart."
God blessed me with two amazing parents, Cosme Hernandez and Marisol Sanchez, and one amazing little brother, Alexis Hernandez. Both of my parents were born in Cuernavaca, Morelos where they fell in love and got married.
In the year 1990, my parents immigrated to the United States, the country of opportunities to better their lives and go after the “American Dream.” They made several attempts to cross, some of which put their lives at risk , they were put inside the train engine, they had to walk several days through the mountains, there were times when they had nothing to drink or eat but they didn’t give up. I am blessed and lucky that the cross over for my parents, the multiple times that they did it, they didn't loose their lives. When I was little I use to cry every time my parents shared their stories of their crossing. Now I use those stories to remind me how blessed I am and it gives me the courage to make a change in my family.
If it wasn't for them and their bravery I wouldn’t be who I am today. Knowing how much sacrifice has gone into so my brother and I are able to pursue an education, being able to go out and not be afraid one day your parents will get deported. All that plays a role in who I am today. When I see my parents, when I see their hands, it makes me emotional. The bravery, the strength and the belief they have carried with them throughout the years just wanting a better future for their families, is what inspires me to keep going. They came to this country not know how to speak English and yet they have managed to succeed. Although they don't have the best jobs in the world but they work hard, day and night to be able to provide my brother and me with an education, something they were denied. They give me the courage to get up every morning and give it my best because I want to make them proud and I want to make a change.
I had to start working at a young age to help my parents and to be able to pay for my needs at the same time I was going to school. There was a point in my life where I was working 4 jobs and going to school full-time which made be value education, my parents and opportunities so much more. I don't like to settle in a job, I push myself and work myself up. I have been an assistant manager at two of my jobs and in my last one I was an Assistant Administrator at the community college I attended. My strength, work ethic and ambition comes from my parents, that will and bravery to do what ever it takes runs through me.
I have learned throughout the years how important it is be open for anything life throws at you. In my job experiences, I have learned things don't just get handed to you, you have to work hard to get yourself to where you want to be. Along the way you are going to find people with many different beliefs and work ethics, you have to be able to respect their views and be willing to always learn.
I honestly can't imagine what life would be without my brother. He brings out the best in me and although he is younger than me, he pushes and motivates me to go after my dreams.
"Push yourself to the limits but remember to have fun along your journey. Break that chair in our family and make us proud. Love you sister!"
When I was about 10 years, we moved to Glendale, Arizona where my parents bought a house and a restaurant. It was right when 9/11 happened and everything just started going downhill, my parents soon tapped out of our savings, the restaurant wasn't doing to well and we were about to loose our house. All we had left were $200, so we got everything we needed and got on the road to to San Juan Capistrano, California. We went to live with my aunt where all four of us and my cousins had to sleep in one bedroom. It was a rough time but through hard work my family was able to overcome those obstacles. Throughout those rough years I learned to become independent. I worked really hard to be a role model and made sure to playoff what was happening so my little brother didn't have anything to worry about. This experience taught me life was no straight road, there would be detours, curves and some rough lanes but you just have to keep going. My parents taught us to never give up, with hard work and dedication everything is possible.
I've been very blessed to have the opportunity to travel throughout different countries. When I graduated in 2010, I did a trip to Amsterdam, Paris, London and Dublin. While I was in community college, I did a semester abroad in Spain. Traveling around the world, including being able to visit the town my parents are from has been eye-opening. I have learned about different cultures, traditions and people making me appreciative of the opportunities I have. I have also been able to learn about others and the stories they have to share.
My 21st Birthday
Turning 21 was the something I had been waiting for so anxiously but not because I could legally drink. Turning 21 meant I could petition for my parents to become U.S. residents. It meant my nightmare of coming home one day and not finding my parents was over. I am blessed the process went smoothly, within 9 months my parents had their green card. On my 22nd birthday, my parents flew to Mexico and saw their families for the first time after 15 years.
Life is short, live it to the fullest!
December 7, 2013, a day I will never forget. I never imaged myself going through the death of someone I loved dearly, I thought this only existed in movies but it doesn't. That morning I received a call from my cousin telling me Martin had died in a car accident but somehow my brain didn't process it until an hour later. In fact, I don't think it finally hit me until I had to say my last goodbye on the day of his funeral.
This experience changed my life, the way I live and the way I think. I use to be the type of person that would go out, party and not care what could happen. It wasn't until then that I realized I needed to change the way I was living, I needed to make better choices. Although I get criticized a lot by people around me, since Martin's death living life to the fullest for me hasn't meant going out and getting wasted. Living life for me has been helping others, traveling, enjoying the little things in life, pursuing a higher education, spending time with my loved ones and taking chances into the unknown. I became a stronger person and learned to appreciate life more.
"In the blink of an eye everything can change. So forgive often and love with all your heart. Take no one for granted for you never know what may happen tomorrow."
Junior Foundation Charities
To make a change and create an impact you have to be aware, have the courage to speak up and do something about it. On June 14, 2015, I participated in a mini beauty pageant that was used to fundraise money for children with cancer. In this beauty pageant, we had to create a dress using all recyclable material and present on the topic of HIV, teen pregnancy, being green or drinking and driving. Growing up, I didn’t know much about the LGBT community. In community college, however, I met my friend who was gay and learned about everything he had gone through. I later found out my cousin was gay and how he was afraid to come out because he had been told society viewed him as someone who had a disease. I later learned about the suicide statistics among the LGBT community and it hurt me to know that teenagers were committing suicide because as a society we couldn’t accept them for who they were. That’s when I decided to make my beauty pageant speech on the LGBT community and delivered a message stating, “It does not matter what color, race or sexual orientation you are, we are all the same and no one should ever have to hide behind a mask so others can accept them! You are unique so love yourself just the way you are because we all deserve the same respect!” Even though I knew there would be people who disagreed with me, I wanted people to hear what I had to say, that people should be given equal respect regardless of their skin color, ethnicity or sexual orientation.