Meet Your Neighbor: Israel Hernandez

Growing up in South Jamaica, it was either you get a summer job or you hang out at the park all day. Even at a young age, I knew the latter wasn’t for me. When I was 16, I applied for SYEP (Summer Youth Employment Program) and landed my first job working at a QCH Summer Camp in Forest Hills.

That was the summer I learned to be patient. Days were long, hot and challenging, but I must have done something right because my supervisor hired me to return in the Fall. Three years later, I’m now considered a veteran staff.

While working in the camp, I found out about QCH’s College Access and Success Program (CASP). I enrolled, and the staff helped me stay on track in my classes at Queensborough Community College.  My counselor was amazing. He still calls to check up on me from time to time.  

With work experience and college credits under my belt, I’m proud to say I just enrolled for the Fall semester at Queens College. I’ll be pursuing my degree in Child Psychology.

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