By Giavana Maldonado, age 13

Meet Dayanara Hernandez, a 15-year-old high school freshman. In 2019, she became an IndyKids reporter and wrote her first cover story in early 2020. Dayanara was introduced to IndyKids by her elementary media teacher. Her passion has always been for sports and art, but she now feels more engaged with writing since becoming a reporter.

IndyKids has been a valuable resource to improve Dayanara’s writing skills and education, providing core tools to prepare her in the world of journalism and social justice activism. Although she loves writing, Dayanara’s goal is to be successful in a career associated with engineering. 

Dayanara is just like many ambitious teens. During her free time, she loves to draw, paint and read books. The book she is currently reading is Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough. Dayanara is fluent in Spanish and English, but is eager to learn another language, such as Mandarin. She feels learning another language is very important for communication and to learn about new cultures and understanding how a person feels. 

Nothing’s better than to have great role models, and for Dayanara, that is her parents. They are hardworking people and a close-knit family, especially during hard times. They strive for the best and make sure everyone is taken care of.

One IndyKids story that truly inspired her was the 1619 Project piece published in December 2019. “When my mentor and I talked about the importance of the 1619 Project, I learned so many things that my school hasn’t ever taught me. It was really important to me to know what our true history was and the importance of speaking up about how our country was formed.”