Student Profile - Marco Hernandez

Unexpected opportunities motivate LU senior Marco Hernandez

Marco HernandezWhen Beaumont native Marco Hernandez first enrolled at Lamar University, he planned only to earn his degree in modern languages with a concentration in Spanish then launch his career in teaching. Since then, he has encountered many unexpected opportunities.

Hernandez, now a senior, has added a minor in kinesiology, studied abroad in Spain, began coaching soccer at Gulf Coast Youth Academy and started substitute teaching at local schools— all well before his expected graduation in August 2017.

“I never saw any of it coming. To me, these possibilities were so brand new. For example, I didn’t know I could study abroad, but as soon as Lamar helped me get it approved, I was gone. It was an incredible experience,” he said.

Hernandez says his personal goals are heavily impacted by his experiences at LU. Though he can envision teaching with his Spanish education or using his kinesiology minor to aid him as a coach, he also has a compelling passion to serve his community.

Hernandez developed his first major mission to benefit his city a few months after his studies abroad.

“One day, I was playing soccer at some tennis courts, and I was kicked out by an officer who was just doing his job,” Hernandez said.

The officer explained that if Hernandez wanted a place to play soccer, he could make a petition to the city to establish one. Hernandez then remembered the cement soccer courts he saw in Portugal for “futsal,” a type of fast-paced soccer, during an excursion for study abroad. He decided he would work to bring one to Beaumont.

“It’s quite a process, but the benefits for the city make it worth it. Health is a big problem all over the country. Plus, some of the kids get bored, and if they don’t have a good outlet they can get themselves in trouble. This will let kids do something good for their body and mind,” he said.

Marco HernandezHernandez drafted a petition to the city and brought it to several of his professors for their advice. Then, he brought it to the community for signatures in popular locations and on social media, where he found overwhelming support.

After many meetings and much deliberation, the city approved Hernandez's request. The court’s construction is scheduled for next spring at Central Park. Hernandez says that anyone who has a love for the game is eligible to play.

Fluent in both English and Spanish, Hernandez says his future is a world of possibilities.

“I can see myself working with the events downtown, lifting up the culture, bringing in tourists and helping our youth with these courts. We’re going to make a big impact, and I’ll be here managing or leading to a better Beaumont,” he said.

Outside of school and community service, Hernandez stays involved on campus in the Philosophical Association, Spanish Circle and playing for LU’s International Soccer Team. He also is active in his faith life and helps lead diocesan retreats for his peers.

“You don’t have to be a superhero to make a difference in the world. Just doing your best is going to have an impact in the end. While I’m probably not going to change the world, I hope I pave the way for the mind that does,” Hernandez said.