Public Safety Chief Frank Fernandez will be graduating this May with his second degree and will be walking with his daughter, Frankie Fernandez, who will be graduating with her first degree.
Fernandez started his education at home, in the Dominican Republic, at age 16. He started taking college classes at a younger age, began a civil engineering degree and completed three and a half years. The degree was left uncompleted because of his move to the United States at the end of 1986.
Fernandez went back to college in 2009 when he came to Capital. He is currently working on his criminology degree, but has already obtained his degree in law enforcement through the state of Ohio, which he achieved in 1993.
Continued education is mandatory for police officers by the state of Ohio, but Fernandez stresses the importance of furthering your education even if it is not mandatory.
“I always tell my kids, wherever you work, if they get a chance to get more education, do so,” Fernandez said. “Because education will always get you resources.”
Fernandez talked about how his classes were all in the evening, so there was less overlap between adult and young adult students. However, some professors recognized that they had both him and his daughter in their classes, which he thought was amusing.
Fernandez is excited to be walking with his daughter, but said he didn’t know if his daughter would agree.
“… I’ll be able to walk with my youngest, and I think that’s, as a father, going to be a privilege I have that opportunity,” Fernandez said. “Because a college degree is a sacrifice for the student, and when you achieve that four-year degree, it is something you’re never going to forget. So, to have that part of my kid’s life, to walk with me, is very exciting.”
Fernandez is thinking about working towards his master’s. However, he has to weigh the options and think about the time constraint that having a full-time job and working towards a degree can put on individuals and a family. He said that he is happy where he is in terms of his job, but would always love to try furthering his education.
“I love what I do [and] the setting I’m in right now,” Fernandez said.
Frankie Fernandez, his daughter, will be graduating this May with a Bachelor of Arts in criminology and sociology, and plans on working after graduation and maybe going back for her masters.
“Most people may think it’s weird to walk with their parent but I’m so happy to,” Frankie said. “I’ve seen how hard he’s worked in and out of the classroom. He’s put three of us through Capital and being the last of three kids to graduate, I couldn’t be more proud to walk with my dad.”
(photo courtesy of Francisco Fernandez)