I am Mariela Hernandez, a dedicated member of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community for over 25 years. Born in Guanajuato, Mexico, I proudly consider North Carolina my home. As a proud parent of four incredible children, I deeply understand the importance of active involvement in their education and school activities.
My commitment to our community shines through my various roles within our schools. I've been an active member of the PTA for both McDougle Elementary and Middle Schools, as well as serving as a Student Intervention Team parent for McDougle Middle School and Chapel Hill High School.
I have worked with organizations like the Family Success Alliance, where I connected families in crisis to essential resources in health, education, employment, and emergency aid. Throughout my career and volunteer efforts, my focus has remained on connecting families experiencing poverty to the resources they need to drive equity and systems change.
As a mother, I've navigated the school system with three wonderfully unique children, each with their own strengths and challenges. I've witnessed the contrasts between students who thrive in academic spaces and those who face learning disabilities. With two children who have graduated from the CHCCS system and successfully entered college, a current high school student, and a four-year-old with autism soon entering our school system, I am directly invested in the success of our school district.
My active involvement on various boards shows my dedication to amplifying our community's voice. I've earned a reputation as one of the "go-to parents" in my children's schools, assisting fellow parents who encounter challenges within the school system. Being a community leader, advocate, and activist has been my privilege and passion.
When you vote for me, you're choosing an advocate who brings experience and an unwavering commitment to our community. I understand the complexities of our school system from a parent's perspective, and I'm dedicated to ensuring that all our children receive the best education possible.
Mexican immigrant tells her story at NAACP rally in Chapel HIll
The News & Observer
Interview: CHCCS School Board candidate Mariela Hernandez
Triangle Blog Blog
Activist & Advocate
Familias hispanas de Chapel Hill en peligro de perder sus hogares
Mariela Hernández busca representar a la comunidad latina en la junta escolar de Chapel Hill-Carrboro
Enlace Latino NC
Changemaker & Connector
Mobile home residents respond to surprise threat of displacement by luxury apartments
The Daily Tarheel
During the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, my colleagues Vicky, Lorie, and I initiated the "Parents Helping Parents" mutual aid program. We created a simple Google Form where caregivers could share their needs, and others could respond by offering resources and support. This initiative reflects my commitment to community solidarity.
Being a Trusted Resource and Advocate:
In my children's schools, I'm recognized as one of the "go-to parents" who readily assist other parents facing challenges within the school system. My passion for helping others led me to become an active member of several boards, all sharing the mission of amplifying the voices of our community. I'm not just a community leader; I'm an advocate and activist deeply committed to ensuring that every child in Orange County has the opportunity for a healthy, safe, and productive life.
Prioritizing a Thriving Community:
My journey with the Family Success Alliance (FSA) ignited my dedication to addressing the gaps that disadvantaged children often fall through. I've personally seen how language barriers and transportation issues can hinder access to support systems. My vision is clear: I want to create a future where all children have an equal chance to succeed in education and career, knowing they belong and have a voice in their community.
Equity and Empathy in Education:
I believe that caring for all children and addressing their unique educational needs is so important. It is necessary to combine equity and empathy, and acknowledge that every child's learning journey is influenced by individual and community circumstances.
A Different Perspective for the School Board:
My unique perspective as both a parent and advocate sets me apart. I've been a part of the school system for years, and I have been focused on retaining school staff and supporting their long-term success to enhance the educational experience. The community's voice has been missing from school board discussions for too long. As a school board member, I will bring my experiences as a mother of four, a community health and housing advocate, and a member of the Latinx community to create a more practical and equity-based approach to the board's decisions.
Closing the Achievement Gap:
I'm very aware of the negative consequences of the achievement gap, especially for Black and Brown students. I will advocate for a balanced approach that not only supports gifted programs but also provides the necessary resources and support to help all students reach their potential.
Transparency and Data Sharing:
I support and encourage sharing data to ensure transparency in the education system. However, I recognize that not all data is easily understandable and may not always represent the true experiences within our communities. I believe in exploring options to make school information more accessible and comprehensible to all students, teachers, staff, and community.
Join Mariela in her efforts to
get her message out around
Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
Help share Mariela's message through phone calls, online, and campaign support. You can also show support and get a yard sign!
Host an Event
Hold a gathering for friends, neighbors, and family to meet Mariela!