Yvette Hernandez

Research Fellow
University of California, Berkeley
"As a Latina in higher education, there’s still few of us in my university and I hope to decrease the barriers that low-income students of color face that make it difficult to pursue higher education, such as basic needs insecurity."

Yvette Hernandez is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and was raised in El Monte in Southern California. She is a proud first-generation student at the University of California, Berkeley, studying Public Health and Public Policy. Yvette is actively involved in learning about the policy and advocacy work associated with improving healthcare outcomes and increasing access to higher education.

Yvette is currently a Research Fellow at the Campaign for College Opportunity and is researching diversity within the California Community Colleges to update the Campaign’s Representation MATTERS report to advance equity, access to higher education, and representation for historically marginalized students.

Yvette has worked with the Southern California College Attainment Network as a Basic Needs Fellow, Ambassador, and Changemaker fellow. There, she advocated to seven legislators in California for the expansion of food stamp eligibility for college students and the need for affordable housing. Yvette also testified to the Senate Higher Education Committee in Sacramento in support of AB 288 to end Scholarship Displacement, which Governor Newsom signed into law recently. She’s created virtual educational campaigns on social media on the available resources for students like Cal Fresh, basic needs centers, food pantries, and affordable housing options on the official @GotoCollegeCa Instagram and TikTok pages. In addition, she’s led advocacy efforts for Doubling the Pell Grant and increasing Cal Grant financial aid for students.

Prior to joining the Campaign for College Opportunity, Yvette also worked for the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, Kaiser Permanente, the Southern California College Attainment Network, the California Research Bureau at the State Library, the California Center for Civic Participation, and among other organizations focusing on education, basic needs insecurity, healthcare access, public health, public transportation, and more.