Marianna Hernandez


A Resident's Reflection on South San Francisco 

“You’re never too young to change the world.” – Unknown

In June, community leaders, professionals, and members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of North San Mateo County gathered at the Basque Cultural Center to celebrate the first ever, “Where Great Futures Begin” fundraising luncheon and awards ceremony.
17 year old South San Francisco resident Mariana Hernandez received the “2016 Youth of the Year” award and was recognized for her continued commitment to the South San Francisco Boys & Girls Club located near Orange Park. 
Hernandez, a Boys & Girls Club Art Program Leader for the Kindergarten to 2nd grade age group, shared her inspiring story of how the Club has played a significant role in shaping her life. Watch the video here.

“The foundation of a person’s mind is based off many different principles and experiences one endures as a child, and due to volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club for six years, I have gained leadership qualities and confidence. I enjoy being a part of an organization that allows people to grow and believes they can achieve whatever their heart desires through hard work, dedication, and support from peers and family members,” says Hernandez.  

Mariana graduated with honors from South San Francisco High School in May of this year and plans to attend Dominican University of California in the fall. When not at the Boys & Girls Club, Mariana enjoys running, exploring her dance and cheer hobby, hanging out with friends and gardening with her father.

These are her reflections about South San Francisco. 

What brought you to South San Francisco?
I've lived in South San Francisco all my life! 

What is one of your favorite memories of South San Francisco?
Going up to Sign Hill and sliding down the letters on sheets of cardboard with friends. I have friendships that have lasted since kindergarten. 

What do you think is the “best kept secret” of South San Francisco?
Something interesting about South City is that it's a much smaller community than most people think. I haven't realized until recently, but I live close to all my friends and many people I've known since elementary school.


What is your favorite thing to do in South San Francisco?
My favorite thing to do in South San Francisco is hang out with my friends and simply talk about anything and everything. Together we love to adventure around and make everlasting memories.                                                                                                 

What do you want other people to know about South San Francisco?
It's been said that there are "bad" schools and "good" schools, but I want all to know that it isn't the school that makes the child; it's the child that makes the school. All my life I've attended schools with unpleasant reputations, but I truly love the schools I've attended; middle school and high school especially. My grades were consistent, I was never bullied, nor did I see much negative activity happen on campus, and I gained many life lessons I apply in my life today that I will continue to apply in the future.

 - Click here for more information about the Boy & Girls Clubs of North San Mateo County.
 - Click here to read our interview with Aubrey Merriman, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of North San Mateo County.