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Cougar Spotlight: Deya Hernandez

Deya Hernandez

September 11, 2015

By Jasmine Demers, Tukwut Life Marketing Assistant


Student Deya Hernandez is the epitome of diversity at CSUSM. As a Venezuelan American, she is leaving her mark on our campus by becoming an inspirational force of positivity among her peers.

The second year human development major is currently a student assistant for the new Latin@ Center on campus and is also involved in other organizations such as the Tukwut Leadership Circle, L.E.A.D Retreat, the Hope and Wellness Center and the S.T.A.R.S program.

Why did you choose CSUSM?

CSUSM was one of my favorite college campuses and I was truly convinced that it was the perfect fit for me when I came and took a tour. It was really exciting to see how many involvement opportunities this campus offered and, more than anything, I loved how diverse this campus was!

How do you hope to leave your mark at CSUSM? How do you want to impact our campus?

I hope to leave a mark at CSUSM by reaching out and guiding as many students as possible in these next couple of years. I also hope to make an impact on our campus by creating a club that focuses on empowering and motivating one another. While continuing to volunteer on campus, I want to impact CSUSM by spreading positivity among my peers! I feel like positivity has helped me to conquer a lot of negative situations in my life and I would love to leave CSUSM knowing that I made a positive impact on not only students but the community as a whole.

What is your favorite part about working at the new Latin@ Center on campus? How did you get this position?  

My favorite part about working at the new Latin@ Center is that I get to help fellow students! I truly have a great passion for helping others whether that be to help students find their way on campus or helping them get involved by finding the things that they are interested in. I was able to get this position by being very persistent and contacting the right people before the center was even open, and thankfully I was asked to come in for an interview.  

How has being so involved on campus affected you as a person? What impact has CSUSM made on you?

Being involved on campus has definitely allowed me to become more humane. It has made me find and develop my passion for helping others more and more every day. Being involved has also connected me to great people on campus and has allowed me to network with others more efficiently. CSUSM as a whole has made me into an even greater individual and has inspired me to be the very best I can be. It has introduced me to my best friends, given me a great job and an amazing college experience. I am very blessed to be a part of this great institution.  

How do you think your background as a Venezuelan student has affected your experience here and your ability to help other students?

I feel like being Venezuelan in general has helped me stand out a lot because it isn't the most common ethnicity you run into. It has helped me in many ways to connect with others on campus because I get into lots of conversations about where I am from and most of the time people are intrigued to know more. It has also helped me to be able to relate with fellow students that I work with in the Latin@ Center in regards to being from a foreign country, balancing two different cultures and what it feels like to come to a new country and adapting as well. I love my country very much, it has made me who I am today and I am blessed to be in a great country like America that offers me an opportunity to accomplish incredible things.

What are your future goals?

My future goals are to graduate with a bachelor's degree from CSUSM, attend grad school, obtain my master’s and pursue a career in guidance counseling for high school or college students. I want to focus on motivating students to strive for the highest in their lives and believe in themselves through all hardships. I would also like to pursue some kind of motivational speaking career as well. I plan to help as much as I can and contribute to my community in a positive way.