Chicago native Joshua Hernandez ’12 graduated high school as a member of the National Honors Society against great odds.
When Joshua was a high school sophomore, his family moved. Before one trip between houses, Joshua climbed into a friend’s car, forgetting to buckle his seatbelt because of the moving boxes piled on his lap and failing to realize the door was not shut properly. While on the road, his friend swerved to avoid a collision, and Joshua was thrown from the vehicle, hitting his head on the curb when he landed.
Joshua’s mother was told to expect that he would be hospitalized for three or four years, but God had other plans. After 11 days in a coma, Joshua suddenly awoke. “For the first week, I was like a baby,” he said. “I couldn’t talk or walk or eat, but I recovered pretty fast. My accident happened October 28, 2005, and I left the hospital December 1.” Joshua made remarkable strides during his three-month stay in rehabilitation, even helping the therapists with other patients.
When he returned to school, Joshua did not initially rejoin his honors classes; his brain trauma presented limitations. Joshua was determined, however. During the summer, he enrolled in classes and eventually rejoined his honors program. “My weakest subject was math, and by God’s grace, I managed to take AP Calculus,” he said.
Choosing a college was another big step. “My decision about colleges was challenging,” said Joshua. “Usually a student chooses a school, but I felt like Trinity was choosing me. I had a lot of alternatives, but none of them Christian.
“It was a hard decision, but Trinity caught my attention. It’s a more intimate school,” he said. “I wanted to develop relationships with students and professors so I could come to them if I needed help. If you attend a big school, they don’t place as much attention on your needs.”
Joshua is now a business major wrestling with his choice of a minor. Although he commutes, he enjoys the relationships he has cultivated with Trinity students and professors. Joshua is a recipient of Trinity’s Diversity Leadership Scholarship, and along with other Trinity students, Joshua also benefits from the tuition reduction made possible from gifts to the Trinity Fund.
When asked about his plans post-graduation, Joshua said, “Whatever God places before me to do, I’ll pray about and do.”