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Headshot for Armando Hernandez

Armando joined The Unity Council almost two years ago. Starting as the Director of Workforce Development, Armando’s position recently transitioned to the Director of Community Programs, a new consolidation of programs which includes the Latino Men & Boys Program (LMB), Youth Workforce, Oakland Youth Engaged, and the Career Center. All of these programs work together to improve educational and career pathways for youth and adults, and under his leadership, they will work in concert like never before. Before the integration of these programs,  The Unity Council was seeing clients and families that organically receive multiple services, but there was not any formal integration. For example, a mother might hear of our VITA program through her son, who is an LMB student. This type of cross-referral is desired, and integration will make it more systematic. The organization can learn the impact that it’s having across multiple program areas.  Armando states that he looks forward to programs and services to be, “delivered to clients in a way that is more accessible.”

Before coming to The Unity Council, Armando co-founded and directed a Wellness Center in San Francisco with Instituto Familiar de la Raza. He was with the Wellness Center for almost seven years overseeing various behavioral wellness programs. In late 2015 Armando came across the Bay and looked for a position that would allow him to serve his community in the Fruitvale. His personal commitment to creating social equity brought him to The Unity Council.  “If I can help to remove barriers for people, then I am happy.”

Armando believes that many behavioral problems are a result of people not having access to employment and financial education, which limits their housing options and eventually deteriorates their health and well-being. He sees the services provided by the Community Programs as an active factor to promote wellness. Integrating employment, financial, and youth programs, according to him, “lays the foundation for strong health and strong well-being.” What’s more, the new branch of programming will make the most out of the in-house program experts that staff each service. “When you put these programs together, you utilize our staff ’s expertise better. More collaboration [among staff] ends up benefiting the clients.”

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