Dr. Fernando, set free from the shackles of gangs, drugs, alcohol and violence now lives his dream of helping students find true freedom as well.
Dr. Fernando Hernandez comes from a family of 11 children. His mom and dad divorced early in his life. His dad was sent to prison when he was only 7 years old. His mother moved the family to the west side of San Antonio, Texas, a very oppressed area filled with hard drugs, gangs and violence. By the time Dr. Hernandez was 9 years old, he had mastered the art of cheating and stealing. Growing up around so much drug addicts, drunks and prostitutes, Dr. Hernandez could only relate to it as the only life he knew. By the time he was 11, he earned his way into the county jail for the first time. It would not be his last journey to the jailhouse.
With anger and bitterness, Fernando chose to become a leader of a local gang and lived a violent life of a gangster. After failing the seventh and eighth grades, he decided to drop out of school altogether. He had his first overdose with drugs at age of 13 and a second at 14.
Dr. Hernandez met his wife, Lorena when she was 13. Two years later they began to live together. Fernando also stopped Lorena from finishing school. By the time Lorena was 21 and Fernando was 22, they had already six children, five girls and one baby boy.
FROM POVERTY TO TRIUMPH
After a dramatic set of circumstances, it became apparent to Dr. Hernandez that he could no longer continue in the gangster lifestyle of drugs and violence without completely devastating his life, marriage and family. He and his wife Lorena made a commitment to each other that with their faith they would begin to “fight to do what’s right”!
In 1990 Fernando began working in the community of Plainview and Brownwood Texas. He worked with the schools in these communities in doing assembly presentations and also offering an after school program he developed called “It’s A Challenge!” He began to reach out to many students and changed many of their lives with these assemblies and programs. He showed the students that they had a greater purpose than getting involved in drugs, gangs and violence, that they too could dream a better life for themselves.
In 1991 and 1992, Dr. Hernandez was awarded “The Volunteer Award” for the outstanding service of his assemblies and “It’s A Challenge” programs that literally helped hundreds of students transition from middle school to high school and caused the high drop out rate to decrease in those areas. By 1994 Fernando was helping thousands of BISD students weekly in his volunteer service and “It’s A Challenge” program.
Fernando began to get national recognition for his positive student programs. In 1998, encouraged by his family, friends and other prominent people within the community, Fernando exposed his life’s story worldwide. In 2001, Fernando and his student life changing programs were featured in HOME LIFE a prominent family magazine publication.
Today, Both Fernando and Lorena went back to school to obtain their Masters and Doctorate in Christian Theology. Thet continue to personally help countless thousands of people by sharing their story of poverty to triumph. They help students by sharing with them about making right choices and giving them inspiration to hope and dream for their lives. They talk about choices and consequences. They challenge students in a powerful, thought provoking way. They deliver a powerful message to students to never give up, to reach their destiny, to stay in school, to go to college, to get a degree and to make their dreams come true! Their message resonates with the students to stay away from drugs, alcohol and violence, to respect others, to respect teachers, principals and the authorities. Their message is not just a slogan or token cliche but a powerful dream which is guaranteed to burn in the hearts of young people to truly “fight to do what’s right!”
Contact Us: Dr. Fernando Hernandez P.O. Box 1405 Brownwood, TX 76804 (806) 729-4022 firstname.lastname@example.org