Herminio Torres was born in East Harlem to a father who migrated to the United States from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico and a mother from Corleone, Sicily. He grew up in Queens. His parents worked hard to provide a middle-class lifestyle for Herminio and his siblings. Herminio always had a passion for science, but athletics consumed most of his time as a youth. When he was seventeen years old, he attended Union College on an athletic scholarship as a pre-med student. Unfortunately, he struggled with the school environment outside of New York City and he left school after a semester. He joined the Marine Corps shortly after leaving his first college, hoping to grow as an individual and gain valuable characteristics, experience and see the world from a unique perspective. After four years of service to America, he returned to a civilian life intending to return to school, but instead became seduced into a career on Wall Street. While it was a financially rewarding career, he didn't enjoy the atmosphere, so he left the financial industry and shifted his energy into the construction field and after working for 10 years as a Terrazzo finisher, he was seriously injured on the job, requiring surgery on his knee. The injury forced him to reevaluate his priorities and direction in life, so he committed himself to return to his passion for the sciences.
Herminio selected Hostos Community College as the institution to return to school at, because his father was born in the same hometown as the school’s namesake, Eugenio Maria de Hostos. Herminio began his Hostos career in the spring of 2010. He immediately became attracted to the Honors Program and the variety of classes that would benefit him in pursuance of a valuable degree at Hostos that would help him to move to Columbia University for his Bachelor’s Degree. Over the course of his time at Hostos, Herminio was a 4.0 GPA student, who was on the Dean's List and received numerous honors at Honor’s Convocation each year.
Herminio's desire to make an impact in the lives of others led him to become a member of the Hostos Student leadership Academy in the fall of 2010 as a member of the Hostos Emerging Leaders Program. He was quickly promoted in the winter of 2011 to the position of Hostos Student Ambassador. Herminio has been actively involved in a variety of volunteer activities; including visiting with the elderly at Isabella Geriatric Facility, making improvements to Franz Siegel Park, feeding the hungry at Part of the Solution Community Kitchen, walking for a cure at AIDS WALK NYC, marching to represent the survivors at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, showing support for those who lost loved ones on 9/11 by assisting in the improvement of East River Park and at many other events in the local and regional communities of New York. Herminio has also always enjoyed working with students on the campus of Hostos Community College and lent his services to students during registration and at admissions events.
Herminio was the recipient of the 2011 national Puerto Rican Day Parade Scholarship and marched in the parade that year with Governor Andrew Cuomo. He was also selected by his peers to serve as a Senator in the 2011-2012 Student Government Association, where he worked diligently to improve the educational experiences of his classmates. Herminio was a representative at the New York Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Caucus Conference in Albany in 2012, where he and other members of the Hostos SGA asked members of the legislature to help with the high costs of tuition. He was also one of a group of representative students from all over the City of New York, who were asked by President Obama to speak out against the raising of interest rates on student loans, on the steps of City Hall.
In the spring of 2012, Herminio graduated with honors as the Valedictorian and was accepted for admission at Columbia University in the School of General Studies for the fall of 2012. And even though he graduated in June, he continues to pursue his love of the sciences by conducting research as part of the STEM Scholars Program at Lehman College. In the summer of 2011, Herminio participates in the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program at the College of Staten Island.
Herminio plans to get his PhD. In Biochemistry and spend the rest of his life doing research and making the world a better place to live in.