Daniel Hernandez Jr
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Daniel Hernandez Jr

Tucson, Arizona, United States

Tucson, Arizona, United States
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"Man Shares story of Saving Ex-Representative Giffords Life"

FAIRBORN — The former intern for ex-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who rushed to her aid in the moments after she was shot last year shared his story and made a call to public service to about 100 Wright State University students, faculty and community members Wednesday night.

Daniel Hernandez spoke about the importance of education and service as part of the Presidential Lecture Series at the WSU Student Union. He also stressed what he’s learned from his time in the spotlight, including the need for civility in politics and kindness and humility in general.

He said he hopes to inspire, especially among young people, a sense of community responsibility.

“We cannot stay on the sidelines,” he said. “Especially those of us who are marginalized.”

Hernandez, who grew up wanting to be a doctor and trained as a certified nursing assistant and self-taught phlebotomist in high school, has been credited with saving Giffords’ life. He was the first to come to her aid after she was shot Jan. 8, 2011, at a constituent event in Tuscon, Ariz. Giffords was among 12 injured in the rampage that killed six.

Although he shares his first-hand account of that day with audiences all over the country, he said he only wants to share the lessons he’s learned.

After working on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign — and declaring he was giving up politics after her loss — Hernandez got his first piece of legislation passed at 19 while working with the Arizona Students’ Association Board of Directors. He had only been an intern with Giffords’ office for five days on the day of the shooting. Previously, he worked on her close re-election campaign in 2010.

He tells all young people that change can’t happen, “when we have people who say ‘I’m not going to do anything.’”

“Social action is very important,” said WSU political science student Phillip Logan.

“I don’t feel that a lot of schools encourage students to do that,” he said.

Since the shooting, Hernandez, 22, has taken a school board seat with the Tucson-area Sunnyside Unified School District Governing Board, the district he graduated from in 2008. He is graduating from the University of Arizona in less than two weeks with a degree in political science.

He said he also is concerned about the lack of civility in politics.

“We have to behave with the level of civility we expect from our politicians,” Hernandez said. - Dayton Daily News


"OUT 100 Magazine"

Currently a senior studying political science at the University of Arizona, Daniel Hernandez rocketed to fame early in 2011 while interning at the Tuscon offices of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. On January 8, he heard shots, ran toward Giffords, and administered first aid that most likely saved her life after the horrific mass shooting that claimed six others. Active in LGBT and education issues, Hernandez has since been raising awareness and funds for various causes. He wants to remind people that we are going into an important election year, and where we are now, with changes to "don't ask, don't tell" and other progressive legislation, is very different than before Obama was elected three years ago. "We need to celebrate the victories that we’ve had, but also realize that there's still a lot of work to be done, and not everything's going to be done overnight." - OUT Magazine


""I Heard the Shots and Ran Toward the Sound""

Interview with the Tucson heroes, featuring Daniel Hernandez - GQ Magazine


"Daniel Hernandez: The Intern Who Helped Rescue Giffords"

Profile in Time Magazine of Daniel and his actions of January 8 to save the life of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. - Time Magazine


"Intern who saved Rep. Giffords honored in Anaheim"

Coverage of Daniel's speech in front of 6,500 students at the national conference of Health Occupations Students of America. Daniel also received an award from U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin. - Orange County Register


"Shepard Smith Interview"

Daniel interview with Shepard Smith - Fox


"Giffords Intern Daniel Hernandez and President Obama Adress Tucson Memorial Service"

University of Arizona student Daniel Hernandez, an intern for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who many credit with help saving her life during the Tucson shooting rampage, addresses a memorial service in honor of the attack's victims - PBS Newshour


"Daniel Hernandez OPM visit"

See and hear what Arizona Representative Gabby Giffords' intern, LGBT community member, and American hero Daniel Hernandez has to say about America's youth, future, and issues. - USOPM


"Following new comments from Rep. Giffords' husband, an interview with Daniel Hernandez"

Astronaut Mark Kelly gave an update today on his wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who he says is "improving every day, and in the realm of brain injuries that is very significant and pretty rare." Also, "she's starting to process some of the tragedy that we all went through in January."

Piers Morgan interviewed someone else who went through the tragedy in January – when he sat down recently with Daniel Hernandez. The interview airs tonight – check out a preview above, where Hernandez describes exactly what he did to help the Congresswoman. - CNN


"Shepard Smith Sits Down With Rep. Giffords Intern Daniel Hernandez Before All-Star Game First Pitch"

With tonight’s MLB All-Star Game set in Arizona, organizers decided to use the opportunity to honor and showcase one of the state’s most beloved heroes, the young intern that saved Rep. Gabrielle Giffords‘ life during last January’s fatal shooting. Before tossing out the first pitch, Daniel Hernandez sat down for a chat with Shepard Smith on the opportunities before him since the incident, how he and other victims are coping, and moving forward for Arizona.

Hernandez, who had just been hired when he was careful to move the maimed Rep. Giffords into an upright position so as to keep her from choking on her blood, thus saving her life, was palpably excited to be at the game and throw the first pitch, telling Smith that he had been practicing and was hoping to keep the ball from bouncing. He updated viewers on his life since January– plenty of first aid awareness and volunteer work, he said– and on how grateful he was for the opportunities. “I’ve had a lot of opportunities that I never would have had before to go out and speak to, especially young people about the importance of getting involved,” he explained. “I’m very busy, but I’m loving every second of being about to talk about the things that are important to me.”

Smith also noted that Hernandez had saved the Congresswoman’s life in less than 30 seconds, and asked whether his outlook on life had changed since the incident as he now knew that “ten seconds from now, no matter what happens, you may be in a position to save a life.” Hernandez answered that it has definitely had an effect: “you really have a different world outlook when you realize that in ten seconds you really can make a difference.” He also spoke to how the family of Christina Taylor Green were coping with her loss, and how happy he was to get a chance to see them, as they had not been together in some time given the family’s mourning. He concluded praising them for their poise in such a tragic situation. - Mediaite


Discography

Daniel Hernandez, Jr. offers a number of speech topics which can inspire and motivate your audience. Daniel is a highly qualified trainer specializing in Media and Communications as well as Electoral Politics. He is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and can deliver the trainings in either language. Please inquire about customizing topics to your specific interest. Also available for roundtables, presentations, and workshops.

Media training and consulting
Communications training
Youth Activism
Civic Engagement
Latino Issues
LGBT Issues
Youth Issues
Leadership
Anti-Bullying
Public Service

Sample Presentations

“Lessons learned from a Tragedy”
Daniel tells the story of January 8th and the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords that resulted in the deaths of 6 people and injury of 13 others. He highlights lessons learned from this human tragedy.

“Leadership through Adversity”
Being a poor, LGBT, first generation Mexican-American, Daniel talks about how we can all overcome adversity to become leaders in our community. Through determination and purpose Daniel talks about the importance of never giving up and always working hard even when you’re expected to fail.

“Becoming Heroes”
Daniel speaks about the importance of all of us to get off the sidelines and be involved in our communities. Redefining the traditional definition of Heroes to instead be about those who work day in and day out not for recognition but because it needs to be done.

Speaking Highlights

• Together We Thrive: Tucson, Arizona, Memorial Service in honor of Victims of January 8th (Video available)
• Title V Professional Development Conference, Del Mar College, Corpus Christi Texas
• TEDxMidwest, Chicago Ideas Week, Presentation on “Lessons learned from a Tragedy” (Video available)
• Wright State University, Presidential Lecture Series (Video available)
• United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, Presentation on “Importance of Higher Education for Latino Students”
• Northeast LGBT Conference, Sage Colleges Troy New York, Presentation on “Importance on LGBT youth activism”

Quotes on his presentations:
"Daniel closed our 2011-2012 Presidential Lecture Series in grand style. His unbridled enthusiasm, his message of hope and his genuine concern for human kind was inspirational"
-Robert Sweeney Wright State University

"Daniel is nothing short of inspirational. His story is one of hope, resilience, bravery and compassion. True heroes not only take action in times of crises they continue to inspire others each and every day. Daniel is a TRUE hero. He is someone that continues in his tireless pursuit of changing the world for the better. Our LGBTQ youth look up to him and are inspired by him. Everyone should take note...Daniel is a powerful leader who will continue to create change and inspire others."

-Dr. Vin Porfirio
Assistant Dean of Students, The Sage Colleges
Co-Chair, 2012 Northeast LGBT Conference

Photos

Bio

Former Congressional Intern Credited with Saving the life of Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and Currently youngest openly LGBT Elected official in the United States. Serving on the Sunnyside Unified School District Governing Board.

Daniel Hernandez, Jr. is a Tucson native, recent University of Arizona graduate, and the former congressional intern credited with saving Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ life in the aftermath of her attempted assassination. His medical training, quick thinking, and brave actions on that day have caused him to be celebrated as a true American hero, although he humbly rejects the title. He has also received over 40 awards and honors due to his actions. Hernandez addresses what happened on January 8th, what we can learn from the shooting, the power of community service, and the importance of following your passion.

The Arizona Shooting. While on the job assisting Congresswoman Giffords with a constituent event in Tucson on January 8, 2011, Hernandez was 40 feet from the congresswoman when he heard gunfire. When the shots began, he ran toward them. He located Giffords and applied pressure to the entry wound on her forehead while holding her upright in order to keep her form choking on the blood she was losing. He stayed with her until paramedics arrived. They loaded her into the ambulance, and Hernandez held her hand the entire time. He had only been an intern on Giffords’ staff for five days.

Due to his bravery, Hernandez was an honored guest of the President and First Lady during the 2011 State of the Union address. He addressed President Obama and a crowd of more than 27,000 people and over 500 international media outlets at the Tucson: Together We Thrive memorial on January 12, 2011. Hernandez has also conducted hundreds of interviews in English and Spanish with local, state, national, and international media outlets. His appearances include, ABC’s This Week, NBC’s Today Show, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, The Fox Report, Univision’s Al Punto, BBC’s Outlook, NPR’s Tell Me More, CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, and CBS’s Early Show. He has also been featured in TIME, The Washington Post, GQ, and People magazine.

Daniel is dedicate to advocacy and political activism. He wants to work to get people who are marginalized get off the sidelines involved in public service and civic engagement.

He served as a director on the Arizona Students’ Association’s board of directors and advocated for affordable and accessible higher education for all Arizonans. And in 2011 was elected to continue working on Education policy on the Sunnyside Unified School District Governing board making him the youngest elected LGBT official in the country.

HIGHLIGHTS:

Daniel was awarded an honorary Voice & Action Award at Campus Pride’s Summer Leadership Camp in July, 2011. “Daniel fully embodies the mission and values of Campus Pride and our Voice & Action National Leadership Award. His leadership, integrity and humility has inspired many across the nation -- simply by doing the right, just thing and being visible,” said Shane Windmeyer, founder and executive director of Campus Pride. “In a time where we have national headlines about LGBT youth suicide, it is even more important to shine a light on young adult leaders like Daniel who give hope and inspire.”

LGBT History Month celebrates the achievements of 31 lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender Icons. On October 15th, Daniel will be honored as an LGBT Icon an an American hero. Others honored during the month include Lady Gaga, Langston Hughes, Frida Kahlo, Wanda Sykes, Dan Choi and Dan Savage. http://lgbthistorymonth.com/overview_video

Daniel was also featured on Orgullo Hispano for In the Life Media the LGBT Newsmagazine for Public Television and can be seen here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xZ389Wd-3iA

Daniel was also featured in OUT Magazine's OUT100 list for 2011.