Commissioner Hernandez was raised in San Ysidro and has been actively engaged in community building and empowerment since she was in high school. She graduated from University of California Berkeley with a degree in Chicano studies and an interdisciplinary focus in social justice, cultural studies and multimedia. In 2004, she began her professional career at Casa Familiar as a Community Development Specialist, and later became the first Arts & Culture Director and cofounder of The Front: A Collaborative of Arts, Culture Design & Urbanism. For 6 years, she was a case manager at the YWCA of San Diego, assisting domestic violence and human trafficking survivors, homeless families and displaced immigrants and refugees.
In 2015, Commissioner Hernandez worked with underserved populations throughout San Diego County at Family Health Centers of San Diego as a Healthcare Enrollment Specialist, Care Coordinator and Patient Navigator. From there, she became a Research Assistant in collaboration with the SDSU/UCSD Moores Cancer Center Partnership. Currently, Commissioner Hernandez is back with Casa Familiar as their Development & Social Impact Officer where she spearheads fundraising, capacity building and advocacy efforts primarily in the areas of social equity, immigrant rights and environmental justice.
Commissioner Hernandez has volunteered and served in a number of roles for the San Ysidro Planning and Development Group, San Diego Commission on Gang Prevention, San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce, We All Count Yearly Homeless Count, Colorectal Cancer Alliance, Border Public Art Committee, SANDAG Community-Based Organizations Working Group, San Diego Immigrants Rights Consortium, Census Count Me 2020 Coalition, UCSD Covid-19 Prevention Network Community Advisory Committee, and Partnerships4Success Core Group.
Her work and volunteerism have been shaped by her upbringing along the US/Mexico border and aims to create an equitable and sustainable future.