Lizbeth Perez Hernandez is a leader in service to her community. Ms. Perez Hernandez, a junior at the University of Nebraska Omaha, is an outstanding campus and community leader who is fully committed to addressing barriers faced by refugee, migrant, and diverse students by serving as a tutor, mentor, and liaison to higher education. Ms. Perez Hernandez has been an active community volunteer since moving to the United States from Mexico at the age of 14. Time and time again, she has stepped up to lead efforts on and off campus focused on empowering those around her while addressing the needs of some of our most vulnerable populations as they adjust to a new country and culture. A thoughtful leader, Ms. Perez Hernandez is always seeking opportunities to engage others, on and off campus so that together they can build a better community for all. Ms. Perez Hernandez has left a lasting mark on our campus and community and plans to continue this work into the future.
I started to do community service related to economic inequality in High School. In High School, I participated as a tutor for four years in a program called Reading Together. This program allows migrant and refugee students to learn English. It showed me the benefits of investing in the education of newcomers in the country. While in school, I was an interpreter to families who got installed smoke detectors in their houses. From this experience, I learned that many families cannot afford smoke detectors that could potentially save their lives in case of an emergency. Now in college, I got to teach students basic financial literacy skills at Mars Middle School. Also, I volunteered as a monitor at the Boys and Girls Club Stock Market Challenge where high school students who were interested in business could use their stock market knowledge to compete against other schools to win a scholarship for college. During the Fall semester 2018, I took my mission to study in South Korea, where I volunteered as a mentor at a daycare for low-income families where I learned that small initiatives to target economic inequality can be a game changer for families and entire communities.