Disabled student overcomes challenges

Roger Hernandez

By Frank Chavez

Determined to not fit the stereotype of a disabled man or woman, Rodger Hernandez never allowed his condition of cerebral palsy to get in his way of achieving his goals.

Hernandez was born in the city of Culiacan, Sinaloa in Mexico.  However, when he was one-year old his parents made the choice of migrating to the United States for a better life.

Hernandez, born on Nov. 3, 1971, grew up with three sisters and both his parents.  As a child, he did not live in the best financial conditions, but his father was always there to support him and his family in whatever they needed.

Hernandez grew up in the community of Watts.  Although Watts is known for being one of the worst cities in Los Angeles County, he described his childhood as being a great experience.

He said being born with cerebral palsy many would think his parents cut him a lot of slack and did a lot of things for him.  On the contrary, his parents always pushed him to his limits.

They didn’t want him to be so dependent of others. Hernandez said, “ If I wanted to grab something for myself my parents would make me get off my wheelchair and crawl to it.”

Hernandez said that it made him a stronger and a smarter man, to push himself and to be a better single father to his son Hector. Majoring in Computer Science, Hernandez found out that he wasn’t made to be sitting behind a computer his whole life.

He did gain a lot of experience from it, such as building computer rigs for elite computer gamers and working as a computer technician. Now Hernandez owns Belle Vous Photography, a studio located at 1455 Monterey Pass Road Suite 109.

He doesn’t like to call it work because he said, “I see it as a hobby, something I enjoy doing.  “Once I start calling it work, the whole sense of enjoyment goes away,” Hernandez said.

ELAC student Christopher Rangel said, “Hernandez’s photography is some of the most professional and clean work I have seen from any photographer in the East Los Angeles area.”

He also rents out his studio to anyone who may have use for it. He charges a small fee, but for ELAC students he will be more lenient with fees. Hernandez, a man of many traits, from photographer to single father, is living proof that no matter what challenge you are given in life you can always overcome it.

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