“At the current moment in my lifetime, I look back and reflect on how fortunate I am to be in the position I am today. Every single day I wake up in the morning I realize how blessed I am to have progress through the countless hardships and challenges I have experienced and overcome. I am fortunate enough to be able to share my story…”
California native, Daniel Hernandez, came to William Penn University to pursue a collegiate soccer career and further his education. The senior finishes his schooling in May of 2018, but says he isn’t done yet. Daniel plans to return to California after graduation, work for a year and gain experience, and then attend a university to receive a degree in architecture.
“My ultimate goal in life is to give back to my community by building homes for low-income families,” said Daniel.
In the summer of 2017, Daniel had the opportunity to work as an intern volunteer at Habitat for Humanity of Kings and Tulare County in California. He noticed many families without running water and others without air conditioners.
Daniel’s life story prior to William Penn correlates with his plans after his time at WPU. His father, an immigrant from Mexico, and mother worked hard labor jobs and had very little money to provide for Daniel and the rest of the family. His mother decided that working in fields picking grapes wasn’t sufficient anymore and chose to enroll in a community college to receive her Associate’s Degree in Child Development. Daniel’s father also received a higher paying job as a welder and the family was finally able to save money.
“Growing up was always a struggle,” said Daniel. “Things that most families could experience were just not a possible thing for us, going on vacations to buying ice cream at the store was not a reality.”
The family went from living in a small 30 square foot trailer to renting a comfortable home. It wasn’t until 2006, when an opportunity arose through Habitat for Humanity, that the Hernandezes could foresee living in a newly built home. Daniel’s mother prayed and prayed for the house to be theirs. The announcement was finally made and the Hernandez family was chosen as one of three families to receive a new home.