Jeremy Hernandez, Hero of the Week

Say you saved a busload of children after a bridge collapse and everyone deems you a hero. Even your ex-girlfriends are saying nice things about you. The White House calls and requests a photo op — they want you to appear in a picture with the president. He’ll shake your hand, hug you and praise you. He may even share his favorite Bible verse with you. What would you say?

Jeremy Hernandez said, "Nope." He said ‘nope’ to the president of America, the "leader of the free world," the most powerful man in the world. He said ‘nope’ to all the publicity and prestige that comes with meeting the president. He said ‘nope’ to a photo that he could have shown to his grandchildren, a photo that would have been the envy of at least 29 percent of Americans.

Hernandez said, "Nope," and for that, he’s an even bigger hero in my book. If his actions don’t warm your heart, the reaction to his heroism surely will.

Within a day, news outlets across the country were repeating the
story of the school bus, along with a sad footnote — that Mr. Hernandez
had recently been forced to drop out of an automotive repair program
because he could not afford the $15,000 tuition.

That has
changed. On Saturday, Mr. Hernandez learned that Dunwoody College of
Technology had offered him a full scholarship toward a degree in
applied science. He has also received offers of help from dozens of
strangers across the country, said Molly Schwartz, communications
director for Pillsbury United Communities, which employed him as a gym
coordinator for one of its summer programs.

A full scholarship in applied science. Hernandez deserves that and more. You can bet he won’t say "nope" to this opportunity.

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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