Yaira Hernandez grew up in Mountain Home surrounded by cousins determined to become the first generation of college students in their families. Hernandez’s dad has an 8th grade education and her mom was married to her dad by the time she graduated high school – the pair snuck away and got hitched as teenagers. Though the family established a successful towing and auto repair business in Mountain Home, Hernandez was inspired by her cousins to go to college.
An older cousin in the nursing program at Boise State encouraged Hernandez to join TRIO Upward Bound in high school so she could receive the support she would need to apply and fill out financial aid forms. Following in her cousin’s footsteps, Hernandez came to Boise State and continued her education while receiving support from the TRIO STEM Scholars program.
“TRIO has helped me with everything from financial aid to being involved,” said Hernandez. “The advisors practiced interviews with me (to help apply to the nursing program). They have helped with everything in college I needed to know – it’s how I get my college stuff done.”
With the help of her TRIO advisors, Hernandez has applied for scholarships and now her tuition is completely covered.
After her mom battled breast cancer, Hernandez researched how our environment contributes to disease in the body. She hopes to be able to combine the western medicine she’s learning in the nursing program with natural remedies after she earns her bachelor’s in nursing.