This is our third year of awarding the Excellence In Character Scholarship to recognize a graduating senior in Tarrant and Dallas Counties. This year, our recipient is a resilient young lady who is now a freshman at UNT. The young lady selected as the winner is Andrea Hernandez.
Andrea Hernandez is a power-house young woman. A lady of character, she exemplifies the traits of champions by taking a long term situation that could have been damaging and turned it around to become who she is today. It’s not often that bullying situations like this turn around for the best of its victim. However, for Andrea things turned around for the best. A believer in Christ, Andrea was able to find her value and worth in God that holds the key and answer to every human dilemma. Andrea exudes such sweetness, intelligence and strength.
During Andrea’s elementary school years she was a victim of bullying. She was targeted and picked upon for her appearance. Quoting Andrea in her application essay, “Kids at school would always make fun of my appearance. It was very difficult for me because I felt alone, and sad all the time. It made me have a very low self-esteem and little self-value.” Imagine being made fun of how God created you!
How did Andrea turn this around? She made a decision to focus on others by helping them in any way she could and lessen the focus on her situation. As she moved into high school, things began to change for her. Community service was the vehicle that turned things around for her. She became involved in her community, helping at her church, school and local organizations. Andrea states that being involved in community service has shaped her character in so many ways.
We know Andrea’s story is a reality for many students in our schools. This should not be the case. Every student should be able to come to school and experience both physical and emotional safety. So as responsible adults, we must do our part to ensure a safe learning environment for all students. There are several programs that address bullying in schools. According to StopBullying.Gov, “Bullying can threaten students’ physical and emotional safety at school and can negatively impact their ability to learn.” In doing our parts as responsible adults (educators, community partners, parents, etc.), we must prevent and address bullying at every facet. This link will take you to the StopBullying.Gov website that provides some suggested activities to teach students about bullying. For parents, Focus on the Family has a great resource titled: Standing Up Against Bullying guide that can be downloaded free from their website. Visit the resource page on Focus on the Family to get your free guide for your family.
Be sure to watch our TV broadcast (Oasis Connection) this Saturday, October 13, 2018 on the UANetwork at 9:30AM CST where Andrea is featured sharing her story with the assistance of a trained Biblical counselor-Mrs. Callie Hearne of Made Up Minds. Great things are in store for Andrea! Her family of support is strong. Oasis Focus Inc. family will stay in touch with this amazing young lady. With the character traits she has already acquired, we know she is poised for life-long success. Check out some pictures below. Love & Blessings!!
“And endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” – Romans 5:4