Dr. Paul Hernandez is an educator and social activist who believes at-risk students can get into and succeed in college if only we change the way that we work with them and relate to them. Before he was a college professor, and before he succeeded in community college and eventually graduate school, Hernandez was himself an “at-risk student” raised in the gang community of Los Angeles. Using his personal story as inspiration, Hernandez has become involved in and created a suite of initiatives designed to increase college access for at-risk students and to better support them when they arrive at college. From his highly acclaimed “College 101” curriculum, to his pedagogical approach called “Real Talk,” and his involvement in the College Positive Volunteerism movement (CPV), Hernandez passionately conveys the importance of meeting students on their level, valuing them and helping them recognize their own strengths. Hernandez recently left his faculty position at Central Michigan University to work with the United Way of Michigan on the “Turnaround” initiative designed to increase high school success and college access. During his keynote, Hernandez will share his own experiences while outlining how they have led him to pursue a career around college access. He’ll also share his perspective on the values and practices that are key to making a difference for at-risk students.

Sponsored by the UVM College of Education and Social Services with Support from: