LYNDON CTR., Vt.: Dr. Paul Hernandez, known for his dynamic, inspirational, and high-energy presentations, will speak at Lyndon State College on Thursday, April 24. Hernandez, the director of Michigan’s High School Turnaround Initiative, is an award-winning, nationally recognized leader in community outreach and college access and success. He will be sharing his personal story of an “at-risk” youth and how it influenced both his current work and his passion for social justice.
Before he earned Ph.D., bachelor’s and associate degrees; Hernandez was homeless and living on the streets of Los Angeles.
“Administrators and teachers often spoke of me as a thing rather than a person,” he said. “They struggled to connect with me and my homeboys or to help us see beyond the Los Angeles ghettos we called home. Rather than trying alternative methods to engage or mentor students like us, our schools funneled all their resources toward college-track students.
“Eventually, I dropped out and dedicated the remaining of my K-12 years to the streets of LA, as a homeless teenager,” he added.
Ultimately, Hernandez earned his college degrees and learned ways to help young people traveling a path similar to his own. Today, he works with youth; in 2012, Hernandez was awarded the Weaver Human and Civil Rights Award for his work with at-risk youth and college students. Through his lectures, he brings attention to issues of inequality (especially throughout the U.S. K-12 educational system), poverty and challenges faced by minority groups in large cities.
Hernandez will speak in the Moore Community Room/ASAC Room 100 at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Leahy Center for Rural Students.
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