Alex Hernandez, Regional Program Manager for the National Park Service’s National Heritage Areas Program, sat down with us to share reflections, inspirations, and motivations that have shaped the woman she is today. As a young girl, Alex dreamed of becoming an archaeologist and even an astronaut. That dream was sculpted by empowering female family figures, especially her mother. “My mother is a passionate force to be reckoned with and she constantly encouraged me to dream big, work hard, and be a better person,” Alex says with a gleaming smile. Coming from Latina and Native American roots, Alex is motivated in her work to preserve and share under represented stories that often go untold. Alex worked for the NPS Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, which ensures that stories of those detained during World War II are preserved and protected for present and future generations. “My younger self would be proud of the work that I do today.” The highlight of Alex’s career thus far was in 2019 when she was the Acting Superintendent at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Arizona. Alex is currently forging to a more equal world by uplifting voices that deserve a seat at the table. Alex encourages women to strive for positions of leadership. When encountering a barrier or a challenge, “keep on going,” she exclaimed.

Alex is a huge asset to the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area. Alex always looks for opportunities to share the organization’s successes and ideas on a national level. We appreciate her dedication and visits to the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area.