Colette Hernandez: “I’m changing the world with my voice”

Colette Hernandez and her daughter Emily “I want to introduce you to the reality of two vastly different countries,” RESULTS volunteer Colette Hernandez told the National Press Club. “One, where parents can have peace of mind and confidence in providing for their children. The second, where I, as a parent, must constantly worry about my children’s health, choosing between paying for health care and food.”

Colette, a social worker and mother of two from Topeka, Kansas, didn’t have health insurance when her daughter, Emily, began having unusual symptoms. It took two years and a pile of medical bills before Emily was diagnosed with epilepsy.

Fortunately, Colette was able to enroll in her daughter in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). But she knew that millions of American children don’t have access to health insurance. So with support from RESULTS, Colette spoke at forums, to legislators, and to the media about the need for increased funding for SCHIP. And she even got to share her story at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

“For the first time in my life, I feel like I have a say-so in what happens in this country,” she said. “I love how RESULTS motivates folks. Things you couldn’t imagine yourself doing, you find yourself doing. I would never have imagined myself speaking to the National Press Club, but RESULTS gave me the opportunity. RESULTS fulfills dreams!”

In no small part because of the passionate actions of Colette and hundreds of other RESULTS activists, Congress passed a reauthorization bill in early 2009 that provides health insurance coverage to more than 4 million uninsured children from low- and moderate-income families.

“We’re finally showing Congress that universal health care is important to Americans,” said Colette. “As a person who sees and lives poverty everyday, RESULTS has given me something to do about it.”

If you’re looking for something to “do about it,” take action with us! Visit our Take Action page, learn new skills from our Skills Center, or find a chapter near you.