2021 Wright College Valedictorian
When Alexander Hernandez came to the U.S. from Guatemala in 2011, he knew he wanted to learn English first – so he started taking free English as a Second Language classes at Truman College.
After coming to the United States from Poland, I wanted to help others. I was thinking about applying for the medical field or a law enforcement career. However, with no sense of career direction and limited English, I decided to apply for English as a Second Language at Truman College. My plan was to learn English in order to choose my major.
Due to my limited financial resources, I could not afford to attend a university. In 2007, without much certainty, I explored the options Wright College offered. Since I was a young girl I knew that I wanted to help people and make a positive impact on society. Hence, I decided to apply for the Practical Nursing (PN) program formerly offered at Wright College Humboldt Park, which had a big impact on my mindset and my goals. I believe that attending Wright College was the best decision I ever made. I felt guided throughout my time at Wright and created many strong relationships with my peers and faculty. After earning my Practical Nursing certificate, I went on to complete the Associate in Applied Science degree in Nursing (RN).
While working as a nurse, I decided to grow in my field and applied to Lewis University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. In 2014, I graduated as a high honors student with a 4.0 GPA from Lewis and immediately decided to continue to seek career improvement and gain further knowledge. I applied to Olivet Nazarene University’s Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner program and completed it with a goal of helping others and improving my community.
While working as a nurse for the Advocate Medical Group, I decided to take the police officer entrance exam and passed all steps of the selection process. In 2017, I became a sworn police officer in the City of Chicago. I was so proud of myself. I remembered all the steps I had taken to get to this point in my life. I took advantage of the career opportunity to serve and protect my community. Today, I work as a police recruiter, motivating others to become sworn police officers in the City of Chicago. I hope to inspire others who have personal achievement goals that it is possible by hard work and dedication.
Choosing Wright College was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Wright laid the foundation for my academic pathway and helped me to achieve my goal of helping others.