Hernandez has a strong knowledge base in working with vulnerable youth populations and the impact community trauma has on healthy youth development. He aims to educate and engage in practice-driven research to address critical areas of society that continue to hinder communities from flourishing. His areas of interest include adolescent social issues, adolescent gang intervention, strength-based/resiliency and youth empowerment models of practice. In particular, Hernandez's work examines risk and protective factors within communities that are associated with vulnerable youth populations residing in trauma-exposed communities. He has focused on advancing marginalized populations through a range of practice approaches addressing violence-related trauma through violence reduction, prevention and intervention strategies.
In 2014, Hernandez was awarded the highly acclaimed Jane Adams Award at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck, School of Social Work that goes to the instructor of the year as voted by the students. In 2014, he was recognized and awarded by the Asian Pacific American Student Assembly & Academic Culture Assembly as the most influential Professor of Color. He is constantly being summon by cities, counties, and states nation-wide to assist with their community violence reduction strategies and trainings the most recent being Iowa, New Mexico, South Carolina, Sacramento, San Diego, Solano County, Orange County, Riverside, Ontario, and Los Angeles. He currently serves as Chair of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Council for Congressional District 29.
Courses taught by Hernandez at USC: SOWK 350-Adolescent Gang Intervention, SOWK 624-Social Work in Juvenile Justice Settings, SOWK 627-Policy & Macro Practice in Children, Youth, and Family Settings, SOWK 536-Policy and Advocacy in Professional Social Work, SOWK 545-Social Work Practice with Families and Groups, SOWK 611-Leadership in the Social Work Profession and Organizations, SOWK 668-Social Work and Law.
University of Southern California: DSW 2018
University of Southern California: MSW 2007
California State University, San Jose: BA 1999
Areas of Expertise (4)
Adolescent Gang Intervention
Adolescent Social Issues
Youth Development and Resiliency
Industry Expertise (3)
Health and Wellness
- Co-founder of Visionary Youth Center