Name: Marlen Hernandez Garcia

Age: 22

Hometown: San Pablo Pejo, Guanajuato, Mexico

High school: Dalton High School

Major: Communications

Expected graduation date: May 2016

Why did you choose Dalton State? My family lives here in Dalton and I wanted to stay close to them. Also, I like the close-knit community here at Dalton State, and since I started I have felt welcomed and loved.

What activities are you involved in on campus? I try my best to go to all of the events here on campus because I find them to be a great opportunity to make friends and to have fun! I’m also an Orientation Leader and an active member of the DSC Secular Student Alliance, a group of free thinking students who love to play Cards Against Humanity.

What are some of your biggest achievements or accomplishments at Dalton State? I have had a few awesome accomplishments here at Dalton State, such as being awarded a scholarship from the Dalton State Foundation and making the Dean’s List both semesters I have been here. My biggest accomplishment here at Dalton State is pushing past my fears and applying to be an Orientation Leader and getting the job. Being an Orientation Leader opened a lot of opportunities for me and led me to be more involved here on campus, and I can’t be more grateful.

What are some of your favorite activities in and around Dalton? I love going downtown with my sisters and taking a look around but one of our favorite places to shop is the flea market. My family and I head to the flea market every weekend to see what kind of bargains we can snatch up plus they have great food there.

Where is your favorite study spot? I can usually be found in the lower-level of the Student Pope Center studying, eating, or doodling. If you see me come visit and chit-chat.

What is your best memory so far as part of the Roadrunner Nation? My best memory is participating in Rage Days 2015 this past August. We went out to the Ocoee Retreat Center and had a blast. My favorite part was conquering some of my fears by zip lining and free falling on a swing; it was crazy!

Favorite comfort food? You can’t go wrong with rice pudding.

If you had a theme song, what would it be? “Just Around the Riverbend” from Pocahontas

What is your guilty pleasure? I love playing video games, and there are times where I just sit for hours and dominate my opponents.

What do you feel most proud of? I feel proud to be the first person in my family to go to college and pushing my sister, Yuliza Hernandez, to also attend Dalton State College this year as a freshman.

If you could only keep five possessions, what would they be? My collection of pens (I hope that counts as one), sketchbook, tablet, record player, and my comfy blanket.

What cheers you up? If I feel down the best thing for me is to spend some time with my sisters because together we are crazy, and they know exactly how to cheer me up. I also love spending time with my twin brother who cheers me up by teaming up with me and playing video games.

What is your favorite book? My favorite book is “Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri. I find it to be one of the most interesting pieces of literature and, even though I have read it several times, I always find something new.

Who is your hero? My heroes are definitely my parents. They immigrated to the United States from Mexico in the 1990s along with me and my twin brother. I have watched them struggle to support their growing family but never did I hear them complain. As a family we are in a better position now: my parents both have stable jobs, and we spend a lot of time going out and doing awesome things together. Yet, if it wasn’t for our hardships I wouldn’t be the person I am today. My parents taught me to be humble, kind, and hardworking, and without them I wouldn’t be attending college. They inspire me to be a better person every day and to love life no matter how hard it gets. I love you Mami and Daddy.

Who would play you in the movie version of your life? America Ferrera for sure.

What is your favorite childhood memory? My favorite childhood memory would have to be when my parents took me and my siblings out to the circus. There was an opportunity to take a picture with a very, very large snake, and my mom pushed us to go ahead and try it. I remember my siblings and me holding onto the snake around our shoulders and trying not to freak out while the clown took our picture. Our picture turned up in the newspaper the next day and we became famous in our little town.

What does it mean to you to be part of the Roadrunner Nation? It means being proud to be a Roadrunner and contributing to our great community. Dalton State College has given me opportunities to grow as an individual and to help the community grow as a whole. When I first started here at Dalton State, I was too shy to do much but I learned very quickly that being involved on campus made my college experience better. Now I try my best to be involved even if that means just participating in the awesome events here on campus. Being part of the Roadrunner Nation has changed my life in a short amount of time and I hope to keep contributing to Dalton State College. Beep! Beep!