After the death of José Hernández’s father, his mother struggled
to raise five children. Then nine, José went to work on a farm to
help financially. Five years later, the family immigrated to the United
States and settled in a poor community on California’s Central Coast.
The next challenge José faced was learning English to achieve his
dream of attending college.
This fall, José is a first-generation junior at California State University,
Monterey Bay, majoring in collaborative health and human services
with an emphasis in social work and public health.
José has worked for two years on a service learning placement
tutoring elementary school students at the Cesar Chavez Library in
East Salinas and working with the Building Healthy Communities
Center. Last February he was selected to represent that organization
at the launch party Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation at Harvard University.
José plans to enroll in a master’s program in counseling at CSU
Bakersfield so he can continue to improve his community and lead
his family to a better life.