Student profile: Mariana Martinez Hernandez ’19

Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Major: Bible and religion

Mariana Martinez HernandezIn just one year, Mariana Martinez Hernandez has made a mark on the Hesston College campus. She has embraced the idea of the two-year advantage – that is, being involved in a variety of activities and exhibiting leadership potential as early as freshman year instead of waiting behind juniors and seniors. Exuding passion and energy in her many areas of campus involvement, Martinez Hernandez is a glowing example of the power of the Hesston Experience.

Start here…

“I chose Hesston College for two reasons – its Bible program and the deliberate way its international admissions counselors work with international students. Even before I visited during my senior year of high school (at Eastern Mennonite High School, Harrisonburg, Va.), everyone that knew the Hesston atmosphere used the same description – a genuine community. I can gladly say that there is truth in that statement, because Hesston has provided me an unmatched community. It’s odd to think that these two years give you strong and lasting connections, but I feel confident in saying that I’ll remain connected with the people I’ve encountered here in merely two semesters.”

…where countless opportunities…

“During my first year, I had the blessing of being involved with Bel Canto Singers, a member of the soccer team, part of a Campus Worship team and a performer in the musical Hands on a Hardbody and in the Pen to Paper to Performance showcase. With so many commitments, I have gained a great sense of time management, but I’ve also discovered how many opportunities one can take advantage of at a college like Hesston. These experiences are the source of my favorite memories from the year – watching the full solar eclipse in Shickley, Nebraska, after performing an eclipse program with Bel Canto and astronomy professor Jim Yoder, performing in the musical and leading my peers in worship at Campus Worship.”

…lead to growth.

“Since coming to Hesston, I’ve been challenged in my faith in great ways. Becoming fully independent has challenged me to keep my flame for Jesus alive and to pursue him even more. I have rekindled a passion in advocacy, one I deemed dead years ago, and I owe a big ‘thank you’ to Hesston for that.

Michele (Schrock) ’81 Hershberger [Bible and ministry professor] has had a significant impact on my spiritual life. She challenges me with important questions about biblical interpretation and about myself. A class that had a great impact on me was Studies in Literature: Mental Illness and Disabilities, with Karen Sheriff LeVan. She understood my love for words and compassion. Every work of literature read in that class has changed my perception on the specific mental illness or disability discussed.
As I look ahead to year two at Hesston, I am looking forward to being a Ministry Assistant and making sure that my peers are embraced by the arms of the Hesston heart.”