Five years ago, Eduardo Hernandez never would have believed that he would one day be offered the chance to further pursue his education on the East Coast.
Hernandez, a Texas A&M University-Kingsville criminology graduate student, received the opportunity of a lifetime when he received an email from the University of Cambridge in January.
From humble beginnings, Hernandez saw how his family made sacrifices in order for him to achieve the best education possible.
This meant one parent holding down the fort in Tamaulipas, Mexico, while the other moved to Brownsville, TX alongside him. The goal was to expand on his literacy skills.
He began working at the University Writing Center a year and a half ago and was motivated by Dr. Sunny Hawkins, the former director, to join the staff not only help other students, but to help himself grow academically.
At the time, Hernandez only had developmental and intensive writing courses under his belt.
He was able to integrate multiple style formats into his own writing, as well as better serve students with disabilities who seek assistance.
As of now, Hernandez is a writing consultant for both undergraduate and graduate students for the Writing Center.
He has compassion for everyone who walks into the center because he was once a foreign student struggling to improve his education.
To be able to overcome those obstacles and now be on the other side of the table keeps Hernandez humble.
He views his journey as a blessing and is immensely grateful.
“It was very difficult. My father always told me, ‘The more you learn, the more you earn’, and not necessarily economically, but emotionally and psychologically,” Hernandez said.
Three professors: Dr. Alberto Rodriguez, assistant history professor; Dr. Barbara Cooke, assistant criminology professor; and Dr. Stanley Hodges, criminology associate professor are credited by Hernandez for shaping his future.
Rodriguez symbolized what it means to be a Hispanic in South Texas Hernandez said.
Those professors took him under their wing and encouraged him to never give up on dreams. Cooke is actually alum from the University of Cambridge’s Girton College, the same college where Hernandez was accepted.
It was the professors’ influence that encouraged Hernandez to apply to the prestigious university in spite of his looming doubts.
Landy Garcia, civil engineer and fellow writing consultant, affirmed that Hernandez’s work ethic is unlike any other.
“We’re more than just co-workers…we’re more of friends who happen to work in the same place…He is so smart and dedicated, and I’m happy to see him enjoying these opportunities. He deserves it,” said Garcia.
Hernandez previously participated in a study abroad program where he had the opportunity to observe all aspects of criminology on an international level.
He hopes to one day apply that knowledge back into the Rio Grande Valley area and inspire young students to keep pursuing big dreams.