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Adi Hernandez


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My passions involve helping others and creating art. I do digital art, traditional art, photography, and music. These are my outlets for my emotions and thoughts. I love spreading awareness about the injustices of indigenous peoples and especially gay and trans people of color through my art. My hopes for the future is to do more volunteer work, be an artist, become a social worker, and help gay/trans youth.


Downers Grove North High School

High School
2020 - 2023


  • Desired degree level:

    Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)

  • Majors of interest:

    • Psychology, General
    • Visual and Performing Arts, General
    • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities
    • Music
    • Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management
    • Teaching English or French as a Second or Foreign Language
    • Sociology
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:


    • Dream career goals:

    • Cashier

      Fiesta Market
      2021 – 2021
    • Barista

      2022 – 2022
    • Cashier/Server/Order Taker

      Buona Beef
      2021 – 2021


    • Downers Grove North

      I have a couple of shorts songs recorded and composed by me
      2022 – 2023

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Church — Bassist/guitarist
      2019 – 2022
    • Volunteering

      Feed My Starving Children — Packing food
      2018 – 2019

    Future Interests




    Palette & Purpose Scholarship
    Art has always been an escape for me and an opportunity to channel my emotions into something I enjoyed. I grew up always drawing and listening to music. I have vivid memories of me drawing for hours straight in middle school. For 8 years, I was one of three people of color in my grade, in a predominantly white Lutheran school, and felt out of place. I was one of those kids who never really paid attention in class, as I was always drawing on something. Many times, teachers have told me to erase drawings, took my sketchbook away, or at times have ripped my drawings into pieces in front of me. I experienced racism from teachers and students, but I continued to draw in my sketchbook during class. It was my only way of escape, as my parents still put me in that school because the public schools where we lived were behind. In school group projects that involved arts, students relied on me to make the projects look good. Students asked me to draw them or we would often collaborate on our characters. These same students would still bully me over anything. My race, my body hair, my appearance, to the books I would read, I was picked on for existing. I rarely had any friends and would spend my days drawing, reading, watching movies, or playing video games. Most of my inspirations during middle school were mangas, comic books, and graphic novels I read. The same goes for the movies and shows I watched, and the video games I played. Slowly, I developed my drawing style by drawing fan art of these characters. I also picked up bass guitar, ukelele, and guitar as a replacement for violin. I use to play violin from kindergarten to fourth grade but stopped after my mother was injured in a car accident, then later let go from her work, causing my home life to be hectic. Again, I used art and the media I consumed as an escape. I was finding my passions and dreamed of one day doing something in art or music. I wanted to animate, be a rockstar, and make video games. Looking back at my middle school art, I saw how I drew mostly white people and whimsical characters from the media I consumed. Recently I noticed how my focus shifted to feminine people of color with somber expressions. I slowly realized how my art was a direct mirror of what I felt and who I am, whether I consciously knew it or not. I only recently discovered I was transgender, and my art showed how uncomfortable I felt in my body. How upset I was from all the generational trauma and awful experiences. Now in my art classes, I have been doing pieces where my focuses are the fetishization of transgender people and people of color, spirituality, and my culture. Through art, I was able to embrace the culture I was once ashamed of because of my previous experiences in middle school. I found myself doing sustained investigations on Santa Muerte and indigenous culture. I have learned so much about the history and my culture, I have so much pride in who I am now. In the future, I want my art to leave a positive impact on the world and to be a voice for my communities. I want to give representation to transgender people of color and give future generations of trans people representation that I never had or saw growing up. If no one is going to do it, I will.