Movers & Shakers have made it to the other side!
Movers & Shakers are there!
Latino Alliance is really happy to be able to share with you some info on people we regard as "movers & shakers." These Latinas y Latinos are there. They've made it to a very large extent, and are in the process of taking over the reigns of leadership. We're proud of their achievements, and we'll be looking for even more from them in the not too distant future. We can all learn a lot from them and their perseverance, achievements, and success. ¡Felicitaciones!
Zulaika Hernandez: "Finish what you Start!"
Zulaika "Zulie" Hernandez
Zulaika Hernandez was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, and moved at the age of six to New Jersey, and later to Springfield, MA, to live with her older brother and his family. Her biological parents in Puerto Rico were unable to take care of her, and her siblings had been adopted by their foster parents.
In Springfield, she attended Lincoln and Brightwood Elementary Schools, New North Middle School (now known as German Gerena Elementary), and then entered the High School of Commerce in 1993. In the 11th grade, she had her first daughter, and left school for a period of time. With the help of her family, and the baby’s father and his family, Zulaika completed high school with honors, and enrolled at UMass with a partial scholarship. Her on-campus family apartment was approved but fell through, and the young family decided to get an apartment in Springfield, and Zulaika would commute to UMass. After one semester of this, Zulaika decided to transfer to Springfield Technical Community College for the spring session. By mid-semester, she was pregnant with her second daughter, and continued to go to school. Because finances were tight, Zulaika got a job at a supermarket while still attending classes at STCC. Near the end of this pregnancy, she quit her supermarket job because no light duties were available. Instead, her older sister helped her get a job at Sears Portrait Studio, pregnant and all. In September 1998, she began both this new job and the fall semester at STCC, had the baby in October, and was back to both school and work in a month!
Zulaika worked her way up the ladder at Sears from associate, key associate, and then to portrait studio manager. Her work was full time now, and also going to school along with two kids to take care of at home proved too difficult. She halted her higher education for a while, but when things settled down, she returned to STCC. Zulaika completed her Associates degree in Marketing, graduating in 2005, and went straight to American International College to begin work on her Bachelor’s degree!
She also began work as a parent aide, and at New North Citizens Council, she worked in programs held in conjunction with the Dept. of Children and Families. While working at New North, Zulaika completed her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, and later went on to her current position as Service Coordinator for Key Program, Inc. within the DCF office in Holyoke.
In addition to her two daughters, Zulaika has a seven year old son. Zulaika became a Scout leader when her son joined Impacto Latino Cub Scouts in Springfield this past fall. She is also active in her church, and serves as an Advisory Board member of Latino Alliance.
A strong proponent of higher education, she believes it’s important for Latinos to get as much school, training, and preparation as possible. “If you have to delay your education for a time, get back at it as soon as you can, and finish it!”
We at Latino Alliance congratulate Zulaika on her achievements and success!
"Movers and Shakers"
Congratulations to our Latino Alliance "Movers & Shakers" on your success!