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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Speaker shares key to success on South

John Hernandez
John Hernandez

By Tee Townsend/ reporter

Everyone has the ability to succeed, the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce president told South students Oct. 12.

John Hernandez presented his life story and shared the importance of education.

John Hernandez
John Hernandez

“Everyone has their own skill set,” he said. “Your mission is to find out what you’re good at and go for it.”

Hernandez, an established businessman, shared his story of being a high school dropout and managing to achieve a college education.

“Education was pushed by my parents but was never really important,” he said. “I found education easy, so it was just as easy to drop out.”

Hernandez dropped out of school and never achieved a high school diploma. He received his GED when he was 21.

Hernandez said he was lost when it came to needing a college degree. His employer insisted, however, that to continue working for that company, he had to have a college degree. He didn’t know where to begin or how to go about getting a college education.

“The people around me already had their path of where they were going and even had secondary plans if that plan didn’t work,” he said. “They had second paths and contacts of people to help them.”

Hernandez said sometimes he felt unsure of himself and, at times, thought he was not as smart as other college students.

“They did it,” he said. “I can too.”

Hernandez went on to achieve his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

“It is never too late to get training and to learn,” he said. “Education is your foot in the door.”

Though Hernandez is an advocate for education, he told students it is not for everyone. There are many ways to achieve and be successful, he said.

“If college is for you, go all in,” he said. “If not, do what’s best for you. Be an intern and learn from those who have the skills you desire, or get out in the world and work and see what you want to do.”

While education is valuable, it is just as important to network, Hernandez said. He counts the ability to network as one of the biggest lessons learned.

“Have as many contacts as possible,” he said. “You have to know people to get in. It’s who you know.”

Education gets you in the door, but once there, you have to network to move around, Hernandez said.

While there are many paths to success, education cannot be set aside. There is the traditional path and the path that is taught while working and learning hands-on, Hernandez said.

“It’s the same path for everyone,” he said. “Education crosses all boundaries.”

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