Cal State Monterey Bay student Jose Hernandez has received the 2012 William R. Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Jose HernandezThe Hearst award is among the highest forms of recognition for student achievement in the CSU. Scholars must demonstrate superior academic achievements, community service, financial need and the ability to overcome adversity. Many of the students have prevailed in the face of disability, language and cultural barriers, intense personal loss or homelessness.

Jose worked on a farm when he was 9 years old to help support his widowed mother and four siblings. Five years later, the family immigrated to the United States and settled in Salinas. His next challenge was learning English so that he could achieve his dream of attending college.

He has accomplished that – he’s in his junior year and is majoring in collaborative health and human services with an emphasis in social work and public health.

He tutors elementary school students at the Cesar Chavez Library and works with the Building Healthy Communities organization in East Salinas. Last February, he represented that organization at the launch party for Lady Gaga’s foundation, “Born This Way,” at Harvard.

Upon graduation, Jose plans to continue his education by enrolling in a master’s program in counseling at CSU Bakersfield so he can serve his community and provide a better life for his family.

“My family knows that I am serious about my education and that it is important for me to contribute to a culture of participation in higher education,” Jose said.

More than 427,000 students attend the campuses of the CSU system. Only 23 of those students are honored with Hearst scholarships. The William Randolph Hearst Foundation established an endowed scholarship fund in 1984 to honor the founder of the Hearst newspaper chain. In 1999, the foundation partnered with the CSU Board of Trustees to supplement the endowment with contributions from CSU Trustees and private donors.

Jose and the other recipients were recognized at the CSU Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach on Sept. 18.

Another recognition has come his way: On Sept. 25, Jose was named during the Salinas City Council's "City of Champions" agenda item, a time when people are acknowledged for serving the community and for being role models. 

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