I have a very close friend who is a passionate filmmaker. Throughout the past year or so I have known this guy, the two of us have established a very strong bond with each other. He was the type of guy who always had my back in my endeavors in my own goals, and I aided him in a number of the films he made by utilizing my acting skills to play different characters in his films. Usually, when I think of someone who is, or at least acts like a leader, I see a person trying to take the helm of a project and be the main driving force behind these different projects so that they may be completed. In the course of the time, I’ve known him, we have completed at least 4 films together, as well as several more films not involving me on his very own. I suppose when you bring a dedicated actor and singer together with a director and producer, you get a recipe for starting up your own content. That being said, being a filmmaker comes with its own set of challenges. Allocating times to shoot certain projects and being wary of each of the actions of the characters and the script comes off as a very difficult job. During my time with this friend, he has shown incredible resolve in his work, and has treated myself and our other friends and colleagues with nothing short of a great deal of respect. Afterwards, whenever we are usually done with filming, we go out to eat something as a form of celebration. I may be a tour guide, but I was surprised at a ramen restaurant he took me to one time that I never even thought about going to. In a way, he affected how I am able to operate my own business in a positive manner through that action. And now, at the time of this post, he has finally achieved getting a job in the drama department at his campus, and he thoroughly enjoys the fruits of his labor in said profession. The way I see this friend and many leaders in general are being the ones who take action to fuel their own objectives while also using their actions to empower and lead all of those who are around them.
Every person on the planet lives a different walk of life. Some live in extreme wealth in a first-world country, and some live wondering when their next plate of food is served. The world has a lot of issues, and it’s up to those who can combat these issues to bring change. When I was 15, an incident occurred at my high school which resulted in me going through a very traumatic event, and I still live with many of the scars from said incident to this day. But with that event, I decided that I would not let my own trauma label me a victim. I remember a month after the Parkland shooting, I attended my first protest in Manhattan marching alongside 10s of thousands of others to demand there be better gun control in our nation. From then, I linked up with other organizations that helped shed light on a wide variety of issues, ranging from climate change to sexual misconduct to police brutality and more. I also gave up many hours during the warmer months to tend to a garden in a majority black and often underserved community in my borough. I dedicated many hours of my week to attending protests, rallies, vigils, and meetings with various organizations to aid them in what I believed could be right for many people. Nowadays, I am not as active as I was in high school, but I still make the effort to help out in food drives in underserved communities, aid friends and associates with the problems they struggle with in their lives and try to better myself as a human being through my actions. For me, when I see people making change in their community, I see it through the lens of how they are able to help out one person, a group of people, or an entire community. I intend to use a large portion of the earnings I make in my career path to aid in many causes around the world that need attention, and I encourage all who can give a little bit to do the same. Hopefully there will be one day where many of the conflicts that arise in this world come to cease.
From the moment I was born, I felt something in me that yearned for the arts. It wasn’t until the latter half of high school when I realized that more than anything, I wanted to get a career as a performer. When I was a young kid, I remember listening to the radio in my mom’s car and hearing different songs play. In elementary school, I was attracted to the school choir, which is where I received my first solo. It made me feel proud of myself in that moment as I became the center of attention on the stage. In middle school, I chose choir as my talent, and I was exposed to pieces in many different languages including Spanish, Swahili, Italian, Latin and Hebrew. In 8th grade, I auditioned for Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, and I was admitted as a vocal major. I joined a major ensemble outside of school in 10th grade, which exposed me to Latin Jazz and my interest in my cultural background as a Dominican American. It was in 11th grade where I started to perform at some of the biggest venues across the city, and I finally was able to experience my true passion as a singer. I consider myself an expert in the field of performing as I have a large number of professional performances under my belt, and I am eager to continue my education for the sake of seeing myself on Broadway, on television, in movies and recording albums for the entire world to hear and see. Music has been a part of my life since birth, and I want it to still be tied to my life even in death.
My name is Ian Fernandez, and I am 19 years old. I’m in my third semester in college, and I am a theatre major. I went to Frank Sinatra School of the Arts for 4 years as a vocal major, and I love to sing and act more than anything else in the world. During my time at Sinatra, I have been involved in different concerts at various famous venues across the city, ranging from the MetLife Building, to Madison Square Garden, to Lincoln Center. I am trying to transfer to Brooklyn or Queens College to double major in both acting and music performance. I am also one of the youngest legally licensed tour guides in New York City, receiving my license back in March at age 18. I hope that this year at CUNY Peer Leaders will be a splendid one, and I am ready to discuss about advocacy and accountability.