MiraCosta alum Avalon Hernandez always had a passion for theatre. Growing up in San Diego, she was drawn to the energy of her peers in the arts and found a home within the Torrey Pines High School theatre department.
In high school, Avalon worked just about every theatre job possible. She acted, made props, and built sets. It was clear to her that she was called to the arts. The only challenge was that she didn’t have the economic means to pursue her theatre dreams at a four-year university.
“One day in high school, I remember my mom sitting me down and telling me that our family couldn’t afford college right away,” recalled Avalon. “We knew we needed to get creative.”
At the time, Avalon was already taking classes at MiraCosta College during her senior year to get a head start on certain college requirements. She was familiar with the campus and knew that MiraCosta had a guaranteed transfer program for students who wanted to attend a California university.
So, without hesitation, Avalon enrolled at MiraCosta College and dove deep into what MiraCosta had to offer, becoming a Student Ambassador in addition to getting to know the theatre offerings on campus.
“In high school, most of the students were in theatre to have fun, but MiraCosta was the first place where I was around people who were driven and shared the same dreams that I had,” recalled Avalon. “We were all there because we wanted to go places.”
At MiraCosta, in addition to promoting the college as an educational option to prospective students, Avalon served as stage manager for several theatre productions, which helped her cut her teeth in the industry. This experience combined with the MiraCosta transfer program, helped her feel more than ready for the next step in her education and she took all that experience and preparation to UCLA as a Theatre Design and Technology major.
“When I arrived at UCLA, I felt ready,” said Avalon. “I was trained in stage management so I could step right into whatever the UCLA theatre department needed, and since I had already gotten my general education courses out of the way, I was able to fill my schedule with very unique industry-specific classes.”
Avalon thrived at UCLA and within one year of graduating she moved to Glasgow, Scotland and started working in the Scottish theatre industry as a stage and production manager. Since then, she has spent over a decade leading a wide variety of productions, from international touring shows to local festivals and musicals. Some of her favorite work has been bringing Scottish productions to America and China.
When looking back on her academic and career path Avalon shared, “I learned that every education and/or career decision you make is going to help you, even if it feels like a wrong-turn at the time. It’s all part of the learning experience.” Thanks to MiraCosta, I was able to pursue and explore something I loved in an intimate, inexpensive environment. It was the perfect situation for me and led me to where I am today.”
MiraCosta College’s spring 2022 classes begin January 24, with hundreds of classes in a range of subjects. From math and English to theatre and web design, now is the time to work toward a degree or certificate, retrain for careers of tomorrow, transfer to a four-year university, enroll for personal enrichment, professional growth, or to gain a new skill. With flexible courses offered online, hybrid, and on ground, students can benefit from classes that work with their schedule.