Paul Hernandez earned a PhD in Sociology, specifically the sociology of education, social inequality, and diversity. His book, The Pedagogy of Real Talk: Engaging, Teaching, and Connecting with Students at Risk, focuses on creating learning experiences to build rapportand meaningful relationships with students. He is a recognized speaker, leader, and consultant in college access and success, community outreach, and pedagogy for educators working with underserved/underprepared students and those at risk of dropping out of school. His expansive work connects to higher education, K-12, and non-profit organizations further developing and evolving work with students and communities. Prior to college, he was engulfed in gang culture and deep poverty, surviving on the streets of Los Angeles. He shares his unique story of being a youth at risk and how his path has influenced his work. Dr. Hernandez was awarded the National Education Association Reg Weaver Human and Civil Rights Award, the Larry T. Reynolds award for Outstanding Teaching of Sociology, and the Equity in Education award by the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.