Discover Your Island

Maritza Hernandez

Outstanding Islanders

Photo of Maritza Hernandez

Inspired by Peace

Maritza Hernandez is determined to make a difference. Hernandez, who is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a minor in women and gender studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, recently attended “Defending the Defenders,” a conference held in the Netherlands. There, she met four women Nobel Peace Prize winners, and was inspired to follow in their footsteps. 

“I learned that it is not okay to just sit back and let the world pass you by without standing up for what you believe in, said Hernandez. “I want to make the world a better place. I’m inspired to act now and to not wait.”

Hernandez plans to start a project for local young women, to show them that they too can make a difference.

“I believe that young women in South Texas are in need of being mentored in order to understand how important it is to receive a higher education,” said Hernandez who hopes to educate these girls by talking about the steps needed to go to college.

“Earning a higher education opens many doors and presents many opportunities.”

While attending the Island University, Hernandez has taken advantage of the many opportunities the University has to offer. She is a member of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, the McNair’s Scholars Program, Psychology Club, and the National Society of Leadership and Success. Her high marks in the classroom also landed her a spot on the Dean’s List for both fall 2014 and spring 2015.

She says the diversity of the student body on campus has helped her appreciate her Mexican culture.

“I used to get made fun of for speaking Spanish, for having immigrant parents, and for embracing the culture from my parents’ home country,” said Hernandez, who is a first-generation Mexican-American. “When I came to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, I met people from all over the world who spoke many different languages and came from different cultures, and for the first time in my life, I felt confident and proud about being able to speak more than one language.”

After her expected graduation in fall 2016, Hernandez plans to continue her education to receive a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, in hopes of one day opening up her own practice to continue to help people.