Olympic Gymnast Laurie Hernandez on mental health and stereotypes

Laurie Hernandez, right, listens to a question during the Q&A, Sunday, Nov. 19 in Placha Auditorium. Hernandez spoke about her favorite dance from Dancing With the Stars, her favorite color, and gave a fit check for the audience. (Marie Underwood | CM-Life)

From the balance beam to the podium, Laurie Hernandez has accomplished a lifetime of achievements at just 23 years old. Now, she uses her platform to travel and share her experiences, advocating for mental health awareness and challenging stereotypes.                    

Hernandez speaker event will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 19 at Warriner Hall in the Plachta Auditorium.  

A VIP pre-show meet and greet, book signing and Q&A will be happening at 2:30 p.m. before the keynote event on Nov. 19 in Warriner Hall as well. If interested, contact Holly Hoffman at gerki1hh@cmich.edu.  

Misheaila Neil is the director of university events for Central Michigan University.        

She said Hernandez was on the United States Olympic gymnastics team for the 2016 Rio Games where she received an individual silver medal on the balance beam and a team gold medal.  

Following her success in the games, Hernandez has appeared on programs such as ‘American Ninja Warrior Junior’ and ‘Dancing with the Stars’ winning the Mirror Ball Trophy.  

Hernandez is also the author of two bestseller books. Her books, "I Got This: To Gold and Beyond" and "She's Got This" are both New York Times bestsellers.      

Hernandez has been recognized as a Literacy Champion by Mattel who promotes readership and leadership, Neil said. Mattel created a Laurie Hernandez "Shero" Barbie to honor her.  

Neil said that Hernandez continues to speak to this generation about following your dreams and truly embracing who you are.  

CMU Speaker Series is a team of faculty, administrators and students that bring speakers to the campus community, Neil said.  

“(They) are committed to bringing relevant and diverse speakers to educate, entertain, and inspire our campus community,” Neil said. "This series has also served as a vehicle to connect our campus and local community…and our commitment to fresh perspectives and progressive leaders who want to share their “story” as a  way to create real, impactful, change for the communities that we live in."

This Speaker Series event is sponsored by the President Office and the Provost Office.    

This free Speaker Series event is sponsored by the President Office and the Provost Office. For more information about the event, contact Easton Hamel at uevents@cmich.edu or call 989-774-7099.