WITS writer-in-resident Javier Hernandez spoke with Madison High School’s Hispanic Club during one of their weekly lunch meetings. Hernandez is originally from Eugene, and he worked as a journalist for the New York Times after attending Harvard. About 25 students attended the meeting that week, and they had questions for Hernandez about his experiences applying for college, writing, and working for such a well-known newspaper.
Hernandez was happy to answer their questions, and shared anecdotes about people confusing him with the famous soccer player who is also named Javier Hernandez. “When Twitter started, my friends all had a couple hundred followers,” said Hernandez, “and I had thousands.” Hernandez figured out what was happening when several of them, notably young females, were tweeting about how cute he was. The students thought this was pretty entertaining.
But Hernandez also spoke of darker moments, such as having his computer stolen at gunpoint while on assignment in Honduras, or getting flak from classmates when researching controversial stories for the Harvard Crimson about race and citizenship. He was the first Hispanic editor of the Crimson.
Hernandez encouraged students to look beyond their “safe” schools for college and to pursue financial aid and scholarships to help them attend universities they couldn’t otherwise afford. “There are opportunities for you,” he said.