Scholarships empower students to make a difference

GonzalezHernandez

Cynthia Gonzalez, AU ’14, and Miguel Hernandez, AU ’16

As Spartans know, the support of the local community adds to the positive experience of being an AU student. This generous spirit was recently demonstrated with the awarding of scholarships to two deserving students. Senior Cynthia Gonzalez and sophomore Miguel Hernandez were recognized by the Aurora Hispanic Heritage Advisory Board for their good works in the community, dedication to the transformative power of learning and pride they have in their heritage. The scholarships were presented by Thomas J. Weisner, Mayor of the City of Aurora, at a special community breakfast.

Gonzalez, a Spanish and communication double major, believes the scholarship complements her studies and will be beneficial to her future. “I’m frequently asked why am I majoring in Spanish if I already know how to speak the language,” she said. “To me, Spanish is much more than just a language—it’s a way of life; it’s everything to me. My grandmother doesn’t speak English, so Spanish is how we are able to bond and form our relationship. And after college I want to pursue a job in public relations, where I am able to write in both languages.”

For Hernandez, a secondary education mathematics major, the scholarship affirms his commitment to learning and teaching. “As a Hispanic, this recognition means a lot because it comes from people that live in my community, and they see that what I’m doing will have a powerful impact for years to come. It means that they support my dream of becoming an educator in the City of Aurora one day.”

Both Gonzalez and Hernandez are active with organizations on campus that make positive contributions in the community, including membership in the Latin American Student Organization (LASO). Gonzalez also worked as an elementary school tutor with the Communities In Schools program and is a writer for the Spartan Chronicle student newspaper. Gonzalez has been volunteering in the Aurora community since she was in high school. “I love getting to help my community and forming bonds with people who all want Aurora to become a greater place in which to live,” she said.

Hernandez is a member of the Future Educators of Aurora University. “The reason for me wanting to become a teacher is so that I can be a resource for students and help them make the transition from high school to college,” he said.