Laurie Hernandez poses in her team USA gymnastics leotard while holding a gold and silver medal.

2020 Common Experience Insight Series Introduces Laurie Hernandez to Texas State

By Piper Blake
Web Content Manager

Texas State University invites the U.S. Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez to a live-stream moderated by alumna DaLyah Jones to discuss the 2020 Common Experience theme: Dynamics.

Laurie Hernandez stands in front of some green brush and a tree with her arm crossed over.
Laurie Hernandez is uniquely her. Image by Laurie Hernandez.

According to Texas State, the theme for this year’s Common Experience comes from the idea that there is a force behind everything, everywhere. When we understand the dynamics that affect our lives, we can find ways to change the world.

Hernandez is a featured writer in the Common Reading book, “American Like me,” edited by America Ferrera, where she talks about being a multicultural athlete and the events in her life that have placed her on the path she is on now.

Being the first Latina to make the U.S. Olympics team in 30 years has made Hernandez an inspiration to people from all cultures. Her determination and hard work have gotten her three Olympic medals and a mirrorball trophy from winning Dancing with the Stars Season 23.

Coming from a diverse background has given her a diverse range of experiences being a second-generation American from Puerto Rico.

“We live in such a diverse country. [M]y Olympic team in 2016 was one of the most diverse in history. We had a Latina (me!), a Jewish gymnast, and two African-American gymnasts. Some kids have had to struggle to figure out how they fit in, who they are, or what their heritage means to them. But I’ve been so lucky to have permission to be exactly who I am. To continue doing it the way I want. Nothing less or nothing more.”

– Laurie Hernandez

Students will have a chance to view the Youtube live-stream which will feature a discussion and Q&A with Hernandez on Oct. 20 at 6 p.m. Central Time. Free registration will be available on Oct. 6 for all students.

Featured image via Texas State.

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