Ollie Hernandez spent 9 1/2 years in Nevada's Foster Care System.

Ollie entered the child welfare system when she was eleven years old and remained in care until she "aged out" at age eighteen. Like most foster children raised by the State, Ollie endured multiple foster home and school changes and sibling separation. Ollie's attorney, Janice Wolf, Esq. wrote, "While other teens focused on proms and football, Ollie focused on maintaining herself in independent living, managing on a stipend, focusing on her grades and making healthy choices." Ms. Hernandez has many hobbies and interests that include: reading, baking, volunteering, school, philosophy, and swimming. She participated in JROTC throughout high school and was promoted to the LET II Tutoring Assistant by her junior year in high school, and as a senior she was the S-3 Assistant, who is in charge of creating the training schedules for the Army Junior ROTC program at the school. Some of her awards received while still in high school were the Army Junior ROTC ribbon for achieving the highest academic excellence in her grade level and the Student of the Month Award for English during her junior year. Since December of 2009, Ollie has made time to volunteer at a local non-profit agency located in Las Vegas called Child Focus. She states that she volunteers at Child Focus, “Because it is something that I hold very close to my heart. Child Focus helps a lot of foster siblings and because of all the work they do, the bonds that have been broken temporarily by the Nevada foster care system are repaired by the events that are put on by Child Focus.” Her career goals are to finish college, go to a prestigious medical school, and join the military for 7 years as a trauma surgeon. After that, to work as a trauma attending at a major metropolitan hospital on the west coast, and then later become the Chief of Surgery. If time prevails, she would also like to start a scholarship fund for inner-city kids who want to major in the sciences and go to medical school. Ollie believes that the foster care system has been a positive experience for her, “because it has taught me a lot of life lessons and a lot about myself. Being in foster care has taught me to be a stronger person and it has also taught me how to grow up. Being in foster care has also taught me how to have morals and values, such as honesty and responsibility.” Ms. Hernandez is well on her way to reaching her life goals. She has grown into a smart, independent, caring and outstanding young leader in our community.

Team(s) or Cohort(s)
2011 Outstanding Young Leaders