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Hillsboro’s Homegrown Talent: Fernando Aguilar, Library and Police Department Intern

Post Date:12/20/2017 3:02 pm
When Fernando Aguilar applied for his first of two internships with the City of Hillsboro, he expected that he would learn about the inner workings of the City. Intern Fernando Aguilar standing in front of patrol car

He didn't expect that he would learn even more about himself.

A graduate of Glencoe High School and the PCC Future Connect scholarship program, Fernando served two internships: first at the Brookwood Library, and then with the Hillsboro Police Department.

At the library, Fernando worked with kids who were learning to read. The experience highlighted the variety of ways he could share information and help people learn while working in public service ─ and ignited his passion for serving his community.

With his commitment to public service taking root, he applied for a second internship with the City of Hillsboro Police Department. He discovered opportunities to build relationships with community members each day, such as at Celebrate Hillsboro, where he facilitated connections between residents and police officers.

“Sometimes, police can be intimidating in uniform,” Fernando said. “But once people interact with an officer, they see a real person instead of just someone who enforces the law.”

His supervisors trusted him, which helped uncover Fernando’s leadership skills. At Safety Town, his mentor asked him to lead large groups — even in song. Fernando was happy that he overcame his fear.

“Crowds used to be intimidating. Now I feel comfortable leading activities and teaching people new things,” he said. “The internship helped me get out of my comfort zone.”

Through his City of Hillsboro internships, he learned how to work as part of a larger team.

“Working for the City is collaborative,” Fernando said. “Everyone is trying to meet the same goal.”

After graduating from Glencoe High School, Fernando enrolled and applied to Portland Community College’s Future Connect program. For students who want to continue their education after high school, Future Connect gives them a running start before they apply to a four-year college. Fernando earned an Associate of Arts degree and won a full scholarship to Pacific University.

Fernando still works for the City of Hillsboro Public Library, now as an on-call page and library assistant. He wants to work with the public when he graduates, and appreciates that the City of Hillsboro has “so many opportunities for different people. ”He’s especially grateful for his newfound confidence.

“Before work with the City, I wasn’t very confident,” Fernando said. “Now, I feel like I can tackle new projects. It’s made me more curious about trying new things.”
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