Member Profile: Diana Hernandez

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If you need some advice in time management, turn to Y member Diana Hernandez. In just under a year, Diana managed to lose 50 pounds while juggling time as a nursing student, working part-time and raising her daughter, Gisselle.

Since last February, the C.W. Avery Family YMCA has served as a home away from home for Diana, where she spends six, if not seven, days a week. Although she admits it’s tough, Diana plans to stay committed to her new and improved lifestyle. Diana says she came to the Y with a goal of losing 80 pounds and she plans on reaching her mark.

In support of her goal, Diana splits her time at the Y taking Zumba, Turbo Kick and Body Pump classes, among others. Her niche, however, is running. In fact, Diana, a former high school track and field athlete, was able to return to the racing world in 2013, and participate in two 5K runs: The Dream Run at Humboldt Park and the Santa Hustle, a Christmas themed run throughout the streets of Downtown Chicago.

Ambitious as ever, Diana will continue to race in 2014. Later this year, she’ll participate in the Blacklight Run with hopes that her daughter, Gisselle, will join her. Gisselle, a Y member as well, spends her days at Kidz Zone and participates in programs such as tennis and kids Zumba.

Like hundreds of other families, Diana and Gisselle are able to enjoy the Y and all of its amenities because of the Y’s scholarship fund, which helps to ensure that no one is ever turned away from the Y due to the inability to pay. The Y has proved to be a place where Diana can embrace a healthy lifestyle while keeping her goals on track.

For Diana, the hard work and dedication continues. She is just two semesters away from completing her nursing degree. Only success lies ahead, and with Diana’s relentless commitment, we know she’ll reach her goals one after another, one lap at a time.