Originally hailing from New York City, Yaritza Hernandez’s interest in Japan had been sparked as a teen via a deep interest in anime and manga. She embarked on Japanese language studies when she became a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania. As a junior, she spent a year abroad at the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies and continued learning Japanese through graduation. That summer, she had the opportunity to teach an introductory Japanese course to rising high school sophomores and seniors at the now defunct Kutztown University Preparatory Academy. In 2012, she attended the intensive 10-month language program at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies. Afterwards, she returned to Philadelphia and has since become heavily involved with JASGP. In December 2013, she passed Level N1 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test.
Yaritza started tutoring Japanese privately in October 2013 and has been teaching at JASGP since summer 2014. Here is Hernandez-sensei’s message for those interested in learning Japanese:
It is only recently that I’ve come to realize how fun it is to teach Japanese. As a student of Japanese myself, I understand many of the troubles foreign students of Japanese face. Because of this mutual understanding, I believe that this makes me able to teach more effectively. In return, you can show me how to be a better teacher. I look forward to meeting you in class!