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Meet Carlos from Phoenix, Arizona

About Carlos - Class of 2014

From: Phoenix, Arizona

High School: Tolleson Union High School

Academic Interests: Biology

Extracurricular Interests: Wrestling, Health Professions Club, Fishing Club, United Nations Club

On the Dutch Road

Carlos Hernandez ’14 had a long journey to Central—three days to be exact. Hailing from Phoenix, Ariz., Hernandez traveled to Central by bus after being contacted about the wrestling program by head coach and athletics director Eric Van Kley. It was a long trip, but it was worth it.

“I arrived at the bus station around three in the morning after days of traveling,” Hernandez recalls. “Coach Van Kley came and picked me up and took me back to campus, and I fell in love with the environment. It was really different compared to the city and a nice place to be.”

Although moving from a big city to small-town Iowa was a big transition, Hernandez found he enjoyed living in Iowa, and even plans to stay after graduation. The biology major has always been a big animal lover (especially turtles), so he plans to become a veterinarian and then own a farm with as many pets as he can gather.

To help turn his dreams into reality, Hernandez is a member of the Health Professions club, a new organization on campus that meets twice a month to discuss everything health related, from graduate school applications to the basics of suturing. He also participates in the United Nations Club and the Fishing Club—he enjoys focusing on UNICEF projects that benefit people around the world as well as relaxing on a boat.

“I had never fished before my freshman year,” he says. “I took Introduction to Angling and it was something I found out I really liked. Now that’s all I do during the summer.”

Although he hasn’t had to wrestle any big fish yet, he does spend his days out of the classroom in the wrestling room with his teammates. The varsity team had a 12-6 dual record, its highest winning percentage in 20 seasons, and Hernandez says they are aiming higher every year.

“It’s a family,” Hernandez says of the wrestling team. “All the guys are really great, and we are training hard so we can keep getting better as individuals and a team.”

The senior is ready to get started for his last year at Central, and encourages students from outside of Iowa to consider Central—it may be one of the best decisions a student can make.

“I love Central and Iowa,” says Hernandez. “It’s a great place and a different way of life than I was used to, but I think everyone should definitely experience something different in their lives. I’m glad I made the choice to get outside of my comfort zone and live somewhere I didn’t know.”

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