A Bay Area native and a member of the LGBT community, Andrea “Dre” Hernandez is living her dream of working as a massage therapist after completing the Massage Therapy program at Carrington College in San Leandro. Dre isn’t your everyday student. Legally blind since birth (sensitive to light and nearsighted, due in part to albinism), Dre has never been able to rely on her sense of sight to get through the day.
As if those challenges weren’t enough, Dre has persevered in other areas of her life too. Money and housing have been two additional issues she’s had to deal with.
Her recent move from the South Bay to the East Bay was due in part to her being homeless and taking up a friend’s offer to sleep on their couch. She was at the end of her rope and took this opportunity to clear the clutter from her head and start fresh.
Once she locked down housing and got herself enrolled into Carrington College, Dre learned she had to face yet another hurdle. Money has always been a challenge – Dre’s been supporting herself and living on her own since she was in her teens. She was able to make her initial payments for college, but she eventually ran into more financial issues which were going to stop her from finishing the massage therapy program. Right when she was about to get blocked from continuing her studies, a fellow student stepped up and paid the $250 she needed to continue.
Naturally a giver, Dre has always loved people and, more importantly, the concept of healing through touch. It was once she settled into Carrington College that she knew she was where she needed – and wanted – to be. Now a proud employee of Massage Envy in Fremont, Dre says the best decision she’s ever made was to pursue a massage therapy education with Carrington.