Tu vecino: Velvet Hernandez-Johnson

Our Chattanooga area is home to many awesome Spanish-speakers. In our Tu vecino blog, we highlight some of our incredible Spanish-speaking neighbors!

For this month’s post, we are highlighting Velvet Hernandez-Johnson, a Chattanooga local who partnered with Language South this summer to support us at camp. In this blog, learn more about her wide reaching impact in Chattanooga, TN.

¿Quién es? Who is she?

Velvet grew up in Guatemala City and moved to the U.S. as an international college student. Since moving to the U.S. she has studied and worked in business, and has also become a very active community member in Chattanooga. When she is not working or volunteering, she spends time with her daughter, Irie. They have an initiative (“Irie Love”) to provide care packages to Guatemalan children who work instead of attend school. Irie and Velvet love to learn and try new things together.

¿Qué hace? What does she do?

Velvet is a Senior Compliance Manager with the Privacy team at Unum. Prior to this role, she has had an exciting career at Unum and has held a variety of leadership roles. As an active community member, she is involved in various local organizations including Tech Goes Home, The Creative Discovery Museum, The Hunter Museum, and La Paz.

Velvet with Language and Culture Ambassador

This summer, she supported us with our Language and Culture Ambassadors Program. This leadership program is for native Spanish speakers in high school to come to camp and share their language and culture with others. Velvet supported this year’s ambassadors in reflection and leadership development. She worked alongside one of our camp counselors to prepare and facilitate activities with the ambassadors. Additionally, she observed the camp environment looking for ways in which we were demonstrating our values and therefore achieving our mission.

¿Cuáles son sus metas profesionales? What are her professional goals? 

She is passionate about learning from and working with people. She particularly enjoys talent coaching, mentoring and development. By helping people take inventory of their natural skills and aspirations, she guides them through the creation of a successful action plan and implementation.

She also believes in paying it forward since she has received abundant opportunities in her personal and professional life. Giving back to her community is a gift she is thankful for. Her main focuses are women and children’s advocacy/wellbeing and also arts and culture.

Click here to learn about another Chattanooga vecino: Luis Silva.

Language South aims to create an engaging and supportive community that inspires and develops lifelong learners and lovers of languages and cultures. Click here to learn more about El Pueblo, our summer Spanish Camp for kids and teens!