Román D. Hernández Addresses St. Andrews Nativity School

March 15, 2012 | Portland, OR – Román D. Hernández, former HNBA National President and current Chairman of the Board of Directors of The HNBA Legal Education Fund, the HNBA’s IRS Section 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, recently addressed the student body of the St. Andrews Nativity School in Portland, Oregon.

St. Andrews Nativity School is a Jesuit Catholic middle school dedicated to offering an academically challenging curriculum in a highly structured environment to low income students of all faiths. The student body composition is 51% Hispanic, 47% African-American or African-Immigrant, and 2% Caucasian.  St. Andrews Nativity School is the only tuition-free private middle school in the Pacific Northwest.

During his remarks, Mr. Hernández described his law practice as a shareholder in the regional law firm of Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, and his background and humble beginnings which included working in the fields harvesting onions for 16 cents a bushel to provide supplemental income for his family.  Mr. Hernández described education as being fundamental in his life, and he encouraged the students to expand their educational aspirations and career choices including pursuit of a legal career. He told the students to “dream big” and told them that all things are possible through education.  He cited his own example of overcoming hardship and socio-economic disadvantage through education which opened up opportunities that he did not contemplate when he was working in the fields, including being a lawyer, being the national leader of the HNBA, periodic visits and business meetings in the West Wing of the White House, and his brief visit with President Obama in the White House.