Commencement Spotlight: Hagui Fernando Cardona Sanchez
July 20, 2022
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti
Each semester, the Commencement Spotlight series highlights graduating Bearkats with a “can-do” spirit through challenges and service.
Hagui Fernando Cardona Sanchez
San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Hagui Fernando Cardona Sanchez is the man he is today due to the hardships he fought to overcome.
The Honduras native came to the United States with his family at the age of 14 in pursuit of a better life that would ultimately lead him to Sam Houston State University. But starting out, he found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“In 2016, right after I graduated high school, I got arrested at a party,” Sanchez said. “Thankfully, I was proven innocent. It changed my whole life, it changed my perspective and helped me become who I am today. It also helped me realize the criminal justice area is what I was interested in.”
Before the experience, he was confused about his future and had no interest in pursuing a college degree. Afterwards, he decided to work towards becoming a lawyer and help improve the criminal justice and immigration systems.
His aspirations led to an acceptance letter from SHSU and another set of obstacles to overcome. As an immigrant, he faced multiple challenges that made his collegiate experience more complicated, but that did not stop him from focusing on his main goal of obtaining a bachelor’s degree.
“The challenges presented to me included a language barrier and having to adapt to a different culture and different lifestyle than I was used to,” Sanchez said. “The professors at Sam Houston helped me get through it. They were very understanding of these obstacles.”
Some of his most influential professors included Jeff Littlejohn, Kenneth McIntyre and Lu-Chung Weng.
His gratitude towards SHSU has much to do with the extracurricular opportunities the university provided, included Alpha Phi Sigma Honor Society, Pre-Law Society, Elliot T. Bowers Honors College and his work as a student leader at the Coliseum and as a Model United Nations Delegate. As a member of Alpha Phi Sigma, he participated in highway cleanups and several food drives.
“Thankfully, Sam Houston was able to offer me all of these opportunities,” Sanchez said. “I will definitely miss my professors and the amazing staff I met while on campus.”
He also garnered the Wayland D. Pilcher Memorial Scholarship for his efforts and was recognized on the Dean’s List and President’s List. He officially began his journey outside of the classroom during his senior year with a job opportunity.
“At the beginning of the year, I was offered a job at Park Law Firm,” Sanchez said. “I have learned so much from the attorneys that work there. They’ve guided me to making the right decisions in applying to law school.”
Sanchez hopes to become a criminal/immigration lawyer and, eventually, would like to get involved in politics to work on future reforms that will benefit society.
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