NOC Success Story

An Interview with Laura Hernandez, Hilton Head High IB Diploma Candidate, Former NOC Student, Resident of the Oaks

By: Ella Patrick, NOC 2018 Program Assistant

Laura Hernandez is a bright, passionate, funny, and well-spoken resident of the Oaks community, located on Hilton Head Island. This summer, I had the opportunity to get to know Laura while working at the Neighborhood Outreach Connection (NOC) Learning Center in the Oaks, whose residents provide a significant labor resource on HHI and who mainly speak English as a second language. Laura is currently a senior at Hilton Head Island High School and one of the original students of NOC in the Oaks Learning Center. Laura moved to the United States from Mexico when she was five years old. She is a straight “A” student and an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Candidate. The IB program is one of the most rigorous secondary education curriculums in the world. Laura is on track to apply to attend university next year. She attributes much of her success to NOC and the opportunities and resources it has provided for her and her community at-large.

During the interview (see link below), Laura describes how, since 2008, NOC’s involvement through education and empowerment of community residents has forever improved the Oaks. She also describes how NOC created a safe learning environment for her and provided resources, such as technology and internet access, that she needed to achieve success in school. In Beaufort County, students are given computer tablets to access their books and to complete homework.  Yet, the vast majority of Oaks residents don’t have access to the internet. At the NOC Learning Center, the students have access to computers, internet, teachers and tutors/volunteers to help with homework – all factors of educational success that Laura attests to as well. Laura noted the involvement of her parents and others at the Oaks in NOC’s learning center and programs. She talked about the importance of health screenings, playground, and adult classes provided by NOC.

In conclusion, Laura Hernandez’s story is one of many success stories of NOC students and within the NOC Learning communities.  Please watch the interview below to see how NOC has impacted Laura. I trust Laura will leave a lasting impression on you…as she did me.

Hear Laura’s interview:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDyJugb8IK8