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Daniel Hernandez Jr, 22, is a Tucson native and a recent graduate from the University of Arizona achieving a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He was a congressional intern for the office of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona’s Eighth Congressional District and while on the job assisting Congresswoman Giffords with a constituent event in Tucson on January 8, 2011, Daniel took actions for which he is widely credited with saving the life of the congresswoman after a gunman shot her and 18 other people. 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 was an honored guest of the President and First Lady during the 2011 State of the Union address. He also 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.
Daniel has conducted more than 1100 media interviews in English and Spanish with local, state, national and international outlets. Appearances include: ABC’s This Week, NBC’s Today Show, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, The Fox Report, Univision’s Al Punto, BBC World Service’s Outlook program, GQ, NPR’s Tell Me More, Time, People, CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, CBS’s Early Show, and the Washington Post.
Daniel began his activism in 2007 working on the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. In 2008 he worked on the Gabrielle Giffords congressional campaign. In 2010 Daniel directed the successful campaign to re-elect State Representative Steve Farley who currently serves as assistant minority leader in the Arizona State House. As campaign manager he managed all aspects of the campaign including coordination with other candidates from legislative, statewide, and congressional races.
Dedicated to public service and advocacy he has served as a member on the City of Tucson Commission on LGBT issues. 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. At the University of Arizona, Daniel has served in leadership positions with the Residence Hall Association and the Arizona Students’ Association. Daniel attended public schools in Tucson’s Sunnyside Unified School District where he received his training in certified nursing and phlebotomy.
Since 2011 he has been serving on the Sunnyside Unified District’s governing board after his election to that office. Fighting for quality education and to work on solving inequities in his district which is a minority majority district with over 90% of students on free or reduced lunch and many at or below the federal poverty level.
He has also received numerous awards from organizations including: United States Office of Personnel Management Teddy Roosevelt Award for Public Service, Presidential Citation by the League of United Latin American Citizens , Special recognition by Jan Brewer Governor State of Arizona National, Special recognition on behalf of the country of Mexico presented by Mexican ambassador, Ceremonial first pitch All Star Game Major League Baseball, Special Proclamation from Council of the City of New York, National HOSA Hero Award from the United States Surgeon General, Special Recognition by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, Sunnyside Alumni Association Learning Community Leader Award, Special Citation by County Executive of Nassau County Long Island, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Service Courage and Distinction award, National Hispanic Media Coalition Impact Award for Outstanding Community Service, Aguila Youth Leadership Institute, Mitch Menlove award for Public Service, Victory Fund Award Houston, Santa Rita Little League Ceremonial first pitch award, Flag flown over the Capitol by Representative Jared Polis of Colorado in recognition of heroic deeds, Hispanic Professional Action Committee Community Service Award, Arizona HOSA Hall of Heroes award, Pima County Sheriff’s Citizens Medal, University of Arizona 2011 Step Up award, Campus Pride Voice and Action award, Citation by Speaker of the California State House, Pima County Sheriff’s Day of Gratitude citation, Sunnyside Unified School District citation, Special recognition by Latino Education Advocacy Days, Good Deed award by the Chabbad Jewish Synagogue Mineola Long Island, Special citation by Ed Purlmutter Member of Congress, Outstanding recognition award by Pima County and Tucson Medical Center, International Equality Forum National Hero Award, Arizona HOSA Foundation Make a difference award, San Diego Grand Marshall Award, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Special Recognition, Ching Hai International Association Special Recognition, Valle del Sol Manuel Ortega Youth Leadership award, Grand Marshall Seattle Pride Parade.
Big thanks go to Atlas Coffee Mill for hosting monthly meetings for the Fox Cities Book Festival Board! We appreciate your support of the Festival and just can't thank you enough for providing a welcoming meeting space for us to plan and dream.