Young Bloods: Lisa Hernandez
Executive Assistant & Liaison to CEO Blonka Mack, Blonka Movement
With her passion for service and philanthropy, Aireial “Blonka” Mack has created many different avenues to help serve the New Orleans community. With the formation of the Blonka Movement, she has placed a special focus on the importance of extracurricular activities for the city’s students. The organization creates a connection to an area school so the Blonka Movement team can work with the youth in a hands-on way. To learn more, I spoke with executive assistant Lisa Hernandez.
A cornerstone of the Blonka Movement is its collection of after-school activities for area students. With its music program, for instance, students are given a safe place to learn different instruments, connect with their peers and develop skills that transfer to the classroom. “Music creates a bond for these students,” says Hernandez. “Without these programs, they have a limited outlet.”
In addition, the Blonka Movement uses its Reach One Teach One program to bring speakers such as CEOs, judges and other prominent members of the community to schools. Students get a firsthand account of the challenge and motivation it takes to achieve this level of success.
When boil water advisories affect area schools, the Blonka Movement provides water free of charge. This prevents the need for shutting down the school and costing the students valuable education time.
When she was still in school, Blonka served as co-captain of her dance team and participated in several other school organizations. She credits these extracurricular activities for her academic success.
The Blonka Movement has already achieved success in part because its founder is able to level with area students so well.
“She’s only 26, and able to adapt to any environment,” says Hernandez. “She’s in tune with the discipline it takes to get to the next level, and the kids really listen.”
Community members who wish to help the Blonka Movement are welcome to donate clothing and canned goods at one of the organization’s events to provide food and clothing to the homeless population. At this time, the Blonka Movement is also in need of a transportation van to help volunteers get to the schools and service events. Visit BlonkaMovement.com for more information.