Julio Hernandez is one of our former HTI scholarship students, receiving the Sherman university-level scholarship to pursue communications studies at the University of San Carlos. He is from Guatemala City, where he currently lives with his wife, Heideé. In addition to his professional life as a news reporter for television station TN23 Guatemala, Julio also is an active member of the church at Zona 11 adjacent to HTI's City office and often volunteers in leadership at church youth conferences using his gifts of drama and communication to bring messages to young people. Board member Cynthia Allen interviewed Julio recently to check in on his current activities: (translated by Julie Obregon)
CYNTHIA: AT WHAT AGE DID YOU THINK OF BECOMING A NEWS REPORTER OR PURSUE COMMUNICATIONS STUDIES?
JULIO: Since I was 12 years old I was interested in social communication, the arts and the related fields of study.
CYNTHIA: WHAT OR WHO INFLUENCED YOU?
JULIO: Two Christian artists who had a radio program called "The Sons of the Saint." I always listened to this program and observed their actions/style. Another great influence was a Guatemalan journalist named Mario David García. Besides, I always wanted to be on television, but no one in my family ever had that opportunity. Since I was little I practiced in front of the mirror as if I was a news reporter.
CYNTHIA: WHAT WAS DIFFICULT? WHAT WERE THE OBSTACLES?
JULIO:The most difficult was obtaining the resources to be able to study communication sciences. Many times I did not even have enough money to pay for the bus to get me to the university. I had to get part-time work to afford the university-related expenses. Another difficulty was the lack of support from some of my family members, who tried to discourage me, with the exception of my parents and my siblings who always supported me.
CYNTHIA: WHAT HELPED YOU OVERCOME THE OBSTACLES OR HOW DID YOU GAIN SUCCESS?
JULIO:Receiving the HTI Sherman Scholarship helped me fill the financial gap and cover my needs. The people from HTI, like Alex Gonzalez, Violeta Campos, and Carlos Baltodano, always offered their support and encouraged me to continue. Among the scholarships students we encouraged each other a lot to reach our goals. My wife was then just my girlfriend, and she always supported me to reach my dreams and goals, and she keeps on doing that. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING HAS ALWAYS BEEN TO THINK POSITIVELY. "IF YOU CAN DREAM IT, YOU CAN REACH IT."