Scholarship To Dalton Student, Success In Bilingual World

Hernandez’ Work In Community Leads To Help Getting To College

Thursday, May 18, 2017 - by Don Foley, GNTC
Dalton Rotary Club member Rob Bradham presented Morris Innovative High School senior Marco Hernandez with the Dalton Rotary Club “Service Above All” Award. Mr. Hernandez plans to attend Georgia Northwestern Technical College this fall.
Dalton Rotary Club member Rob Bradham presented Morris Innovative High School senior Marco Hernandez with the Dalton Rotary Club “Service Above All” Award. Mr. Hernandez plans to attend Georgia Northwestern Technical College this fall.

When Morris Innovative High School senior Marco Hernandez walks across the graduation stage in Dalton on May 26, it’s not just a diploma he’ll be leaving high school with. A historic sense of pride will accompany Mr. Hernandez as he will become the first person in his family to graduate from high school. 

Paving the way for his five brothers and sisters to succeed, organizations in the Dalton area have decided to do the same for him. To help with collegiate expenses, the First Bank of Dalton, in partnership with the Roman Open Charities, has awarded Mr. Hernandez $500. He was also awarded the Roman Open Charities Scholarship for $1,000. Also, the Dalton Rotary Club awarded the soon-to-be 2017 high school graduate with their “Service Above Self” Award. 

Mr. Hernandez, 19, plans to take his first classes at Georgia Northwestern Technical College later this year. The Dalton resident plans to build a life helping others in need. “I really want to be a social worker with families and schools,” said Mr. Hernandez. “But, I really want to have a non-profit organization that would help the homeless and the children of new families that move into the area. Giving back to my community by doing social work is the best way I can think of to begin my life.” 

Beyond his academics, Mr. Hernandez has actively worked with the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce, the Northwest Georgia Healthcare Partnership, and the Dalton City Schools Central Office. “I want to work with people and help them see their potential,” said Mr. Hernandez. 

One of Mr. Hernandez’ many passions is working with the Translation Academy at Morris Innovative High School. Mr. Hernandez, along with many other students, helps assist anyone who speaks Spanish fluently, but not English. The Academy helps train not only the importance of being bilingual, but also the importance of being an active part of the community around you. Nearly half of the residents in Dalton are Hispanic. “I just want to be able to help the businesses and the people in the community, too,” said Mr. Hernandez. 

The Translation Academy was launched five years ago by Paige Watts, a Spanish instructor with Dalton City Schools. “During their time in the Translation Academy, students realize their value to the community, the vast opportunities that are available to them, as well as how to pursue their future goals,” said Ms. Watts. The academy works with students and adults in the community, alike. More than 60-percent of the students in the Dalton City School system are Hispanic. 

With the support of his parents, Joaquin and Marisol Hernandez, the future Georgia Northwestern freshman says it’s been a real team effort for him to get where he is today. “Just all of the teachers and staff at the school, as well as the organizations that I have got to work with, have really helped me decide to pursue this career,” said Mr. Hernandez. “I’m just thankful and plan to take full advantage of all of this.”  


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