First Responder for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Daniel Hernandez

"How Student Advocacy and Activism Helped Me Give to My Community"

May 2, 2012
Student Union Apollo Room 

Daniel Hernandez was a congressional intern for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona's eighth congressional district when, on January 8, 2011, the congresswoman was shot along with 18 others by a gunman at a Tucson constituent event. Hernandez sprang into action, and his medical training, quick thinking, and brave actions on that day have been widely credited with saving Giffords' life.

Many now celebrate Hernandez as a true American hero, though he humbly rejects that title. Still, he was an honored guest of the President and First Lady during the 2011 State of the Union address, and he addressed President Obama and a crowd of more than 27,000 people and nearly 500 media outlets at the "Tucson: Together We Thrive" memorial on January 12, 2011.

Daniel has conducted more than 500 media interviews in English and Spanish with local, state, national, and international outlets, with appearances on the three major TV networks and on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow ShowThe Fox Report, and Univision's Al Punto.

The 21-year-old Tucson native is a student at the University of Arizona studying political science. Hernandez is dedicated to student advocacy and political activism. He served as a director on the Arizona Students' Association's Board of Directors and advocated for affordable and accessible higher education for all Arizonans. He began his political activism in 2007 working on the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, and in Giffords' 2008 congressional campaign. He has also served on the City of Tucson Commission on GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender) issues.