A letter to my fellow Hispanic students


Javier Hernandez

One of Chico State’s slogans around campus

As I celebrate graduating from high school with honors, one of my ex-counselors attempts to shake my hand, but I deny him.

He asks why, and I say, “I remember you said I was going to drop out and be a nobody because of the color of my skin. I don’t need your validation. I am proud of being Mexican and will continue to prove all my naysayers wrong.”

This is the type of scrutiny Hispanic people go through day in and day out. 

Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 are the days dedicated to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage month. This month is crucial to highlight all the attributions and achievements Hispanic people have done to inspire each other. 

This year’s theme is “A celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope.” 

I am a 21-year-old first-generation Mexican college student. Nobody in my immediate family has gone to college, and this is something tons of students at Chico State can relate to. 

A Mexico flag with a Chico State logo

It is frightening not seeing your people be successful in college. There is nobody you can fall back on, but that isn’t something to be ashamed of. 

This shouldn’t stop Hispanic students from working to achieve their dreams. This should add fuel to the fire and motivate you to become a better part of history.

According to Chico Facts, Latinos are the second largest ethnicity currently attending Chico State, making up 35.6% of the student population.

We mean so much to the enrollment and development of this university, with many clubs and programs catering to our people. We matter at Chico State, and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.

This isn’t something we should neglect. We deserve all the praise and love because of all the stereotypes surrounding our people. 

All my fellow Hispanic students, this month is for all of you. We have made it to college and that is something to be celebrated. 

The odds have always been against us because of our skin color and ultimately hatred towards our culture. Don’t be ashamed of that, instead embrace it. Look for other Hispanic people to help motivate you. 

Even when people show hatred towards us, they continue to eat our amazing food and enjoy our vibrant culture.

People can’t accept the fact that diversity is what inspires change in this world. Continue to show pride for your culture and colors. 

As I sit here, being from Hispanic descent is something that makes me proud. Being bilingual is beautiful, being able to speak, write and read in both English and Spanish is prominent. 

Some of my biggest learning experiences were being able to translate for my Mexican parents. This made me realize what an honor it is to speak two different languages.

All of our journeys are different, but we as Hispanic students all share the same stereotypes and pain. 

To all my estudiantes hispanos (hispanic students); ¡Sí Se Puede!

Javier Hernandez can be contacted at [email protected] or @jhm1226 on Twitter