SHINE 4 Education begins with the concept of equal opportunity and the lack thereof in neighborhoods without it. A tale of two cities, Elijah Hernandez experienced the unique contrast of living in Fresno, CA but moving forward with his education in Clovis, CA. Fresno (2016) experienced a national violent crime rate and national crime rate over 50% higher than the nationwide average each. Many children are either forced to stay inside or be exposed to a world of crime. Desperate to get out, Hernandez was left with very few options. He, like many other kids experiencing this same dilemma, became an athlete. This passion grew as he traveled miles on end throughout California. An injury left him unable to compete and he found himself back to square one.
The sudden stop allowed for a recollection on his surroundings and his upbringing. “I looked around and realized I was one of the last kids from my neighborhood who was in high school. I felt entirely alone in this experience of making it out and found myself representing an entire subsection of forgotten children”, says Hernandez. Utilizing the resources found in his robotics program, he would create outreach projects to teach over 1000 children principles never shared with him as a child. His outreach would take him from Houston, Texas to 7000 miles away in Laos. He would eventually be able to speak to Governor Jerry Brown and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on these accomplishments. In fact, he would even have the opportunity to present Schwarzenegger the 1,000,000th solar panel made in California. Elijah Hernandez was committed to continuing his passion past high school.
Recruitment began with Tiffany Lopez and Ruby Maciel. The duo attended the same elementary school as Hernandez, Tarpey Elementary, and developed their own personal desire to make a wider impact in their shared community. Haley Geers' active involvement in school programs with Hernandez saw the two working on dozens of events and projects throughout high school. The four students finalized the vision of SHINE 4 Education as founders and continue to work on shining a light for kids in need.
The world of engineering continues to evolve everyday with more and more fields in demand. Under Engineering Design, SHINE 4 Education plans to incorporate coding, electronics, and fabrication fundamentals into its E.D programs.
One of the most important concepts to understand as a child, Environmental Science is steadily becoming a sought after field in the workforce. There isn't a more direct way a student can impact their environment than to learn about sustainability in their community.
Communication can be done with more than words. Media Production crews around the world direct messages to families around the world through the art they produce. SHINE 4 Education teaches the specifics of filmmaking from videography to sound engineering through its programs under this pathway.
There are millions of heroes hard at work securing the health of our families. Most are seen in hospitals, but they can be found in elderly homes or schools right by our homes. In light of COVID-19, we hope we can inspire the next generation of heroes to follow their lead.
Making change through the legal system is of the upmost importance for SHINE 4 Education. Students often go through their schooling without any knowledge on the impact of politics. We hope to educate students on the basics of government and law as they will one day dictate the policies going through their country.
Having created his first educational program at age 16, he continues his passion as the Chief Executive Officer of SHINE 4 Education. He's traveled across the world teaching hundreds of children coding and engineering principles. As CEO, Elijah Hernandez ensures the organization can function at its fullest capacity.
Haley Geers, as President of SHINE 4 Education, oversees each pathway. As an active high school student, she’s involved in student council, robotics, mock trial, soccer, and several other co-curriculars. She volunteers at her local hospital and visits elementary schools throughout her community to teach children STEAM principles.
Her experience with community work extends far outside of SHINE. She sings and volunteers at local nursing homes and elementary schools. She takes unique environmental classes through her high school’s Energy Academy. Tiffany Lopez hopes to provide a fun and engaging experience for kids interested in Environmental Science.
Ruby Maciel has had a passion for videography dating back to middle school. In fact, she won three awards for her work in 2017. Her passion for film gave her an appreciation of capturing the energy of a moment. As a Director, she hopes to inspire others through her programs.
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