A child of Mexican immigrant parents, Sergio Hernandez has overcome many challenges. Being an undocumented student has denied Sergio countless scholarship, social and education services throughout his young life. Through the painful experiences of discrimination, he learned life is not about breaking when faced with adversity. Having joined the Salesian Boys & Girls Club in 9th grade, he was encouraged to achieve what his heart felt was possible.
At the Club, Sergio has spent countless hours mentoring his peers, tutoring and leading community service efforts as Keystone Club President. His goal is to one day help build his own nonprofit organ-ization and improve his struggling community, an idea inspired by his own experience and understanding that a loving environment will foster tomorrow’s leaders.
As a senior at Roosevelt High School, he maintains a G.P.A. of 3.6 and creates outlets for positive change. Two of the most successful projects spearheaded by Sergio are, “Coming Out Undocumented” and the “First Annual Keystone College Conference.” Basing these projects on issues personal to him and pertinent to his community, Sergio organized a campaign that urged undocumented students to be unafraid of their immigration status and seek support. He disseminated information and resources for undocumented students wanting to continue their education beyond high school. Living in a city that is marginalized and lacks resources, Sergio organized a community college conference aimed at providing resources and information to parents and student about the admissions process.
Sergio is an extraordinary young man whose social consciousness has only begun. The adversity he has overcome has taught him that with hard work and determination, anything can be achieved. He works hard to achieve the changes he envisions for his community. I am a firm believer that Sergio Hernandez embodies what youth of the year is.
He says, “Those of us who grow up at the Salesian Boys and Girls Club know that a bit of kindness and hope can go a long way,” and, "I am honored to have been selected as the Salesian Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year. The Club is where I spent all of my time and I owe all of my success to the people here that I can forever call family. It's an incredible honor and I really look forward to representing all the wonderful people here."