Alumni Strike: Katherine Fernandez

BY SABRINA BLANDON

Alumna Katherine Fernandez, who graduated from the Bay in 2014, went to Honduras this past summer to aid people through a foundation called Humanity and Hope. While there, she said she built homes, taught children at schools, worked on farms and took part in different activities, depending on the village.

“I’m originally from Honduras and I go back to Honduras at least once a year to help out with the communities through other foundations,” Katherine Fernandez said. “When I was helping out in Humanity and Hope, I really enjoyed going back to my home country and helping my people. I know if I were in their position, I would appreciate someone helping me when my situation is as bad as theirs.”

After hearing about Humanity and Hope from her friend, Katherine Fernandez said she was eager to assist. Humanity and Hope assists by funding schools for children and adults to teach them how to work. Recently, the foundation partnered with a coffee factory and came to the aid of the adults in the villages get better jobs to support their families.

“When I first helped the foundation, I was surprised by how many people in Honduras needed our help; but at the same time, I was glad to be a part of something like this that would help change the world,” Katherine Fernandez said. “After this experience, I want to do something bigger than helping one country. I think from now on I want to continue in this foundation and help multiple villages across the world.”

Katherine Fernandez said this experience was amazing, as it opened her eyes to a whole new world.

“This was such a rewarding and an eye-opening experience,” Katherine Fernandez said. “I’ve always been trying to help the community but being in these villages for a week and first- hand experiencing how millions of people live really makes me want to keep doing it as much as I can.”

Through her participation in color guard at the Bay, Katherine Fernandez said she developed many traits that benefited her during her time in Honduras.

“Being in color guard really helped me learn more about my community which helped me during this experience since I had to get out there and help strangers,” Katherine Fernandez said. “We always helped each other and people in other schools out and were there for each other in the good times and the bad.”

Katherine Fernandez said being in color guard forced her to come out of her shell and become more comfortable with talking to others. She said this supported her form better bonds with the villagers while in Honduras.

“At first, I really didn’t want to be in color guard because I felt like I didn’t belong since I wasn’t talking to anyone,” Katherine Fernandez said. “[However], once I got to know my peers, the club really helped me become more comfortable talking to people.”

Katherine Fernandez wasn’t the only one who thought going to Honduras was a good idea. Fernandez’s parents, Hector and Kathe Fernandez, said what their daughter was doing was amazing.

“I think that Katherine doing something like this is amazing. My husband and I stayed in Honduras as well, we helped with other foundations while Katherine worked with Humanity and Hope,” Kathe Fernandez said.

In addition to Color Guard, Katherine Fernandez took Spanish classes and participated in National Honors Society (NHS) while at the Bay. She said out of all her classes, those were the ones that really assisted during her time spent in Honduras.

“For NHS, we did a ton of community service and I loved it which also lead me to want to keep pursuing community service after high school,” Katherine Fernandez said. “As for the Spanish classes, it helped to develop my skills in my native language and it’s always fun to help improve it especially since it’s a language I want to use in the future.”

While working with Humanity and Hope, Katherine Fernandez said she heard stories of how she changed the villagers’ lives. She said she is impressed by the progress Humanity and Hope has made and she hopes to continue positively impacting lives.

“I definitely feel a sense of fulfillment after realizing how much of an impact even small actions can have on these families,” Fernandez said. “Hearing the story of how one family can now go into town with no worries really made my heart smile because I know that I helped them achieve that.”

 

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