I am Mariela Hernandez, family navigator for the Family Success Alliance. I was born in Guanajuato, Mexico. I consider myself from NC since I have lived in Chapel Hill-Carrboro for more than 30 years. I am a proud parent of four amazing kids. One is in college and the other 3 are in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School district. As a parent, I know the importance of being involved in my children’s education and school activities. I am known in my kids’ schools as one of several “go-to parents” who can assist other parents who might be having trouble with different aspects of the school system. This has been something I really enjoy doing. I am an active member on several boards with the mission to have our community voice heard. I am a community leader, advocate and activist for our community.
When I heard of the Family Success Alliance and their goal of assuring all kids in Orange County have the opportunity for a healthy, safe and productive life from the day they are born until they go to college, I was all in for the project. Growing up, my parents were unaware of support systems around them for several reasons such as language barriers and lack of transportation. Therefore, my goal is not to have any of our community kids fall through these gaps and give them a chance to be successful and thrive in education and career because they are the future. My goal with the parents of these children is to have them understand that they belong in this community and that they have a voice. I empower parents by teaching them about many resources here in Orange County. We are fortunate to have the FSA collaborative and thank the many partners that work with us daily to help reach the goals of our families.