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Lori Mae Hernandez

ComedianLancaster, CAStory and Photos by Lauri Levenfeld

Like so many, I was completely awed by the courage, humility, and joy that Lori Mae Hernandez showcased on last season’s America’s Got Talent. I mean the 13-year old took on Donald Trump! But what many don’t know is how her passion and her enthusiasm for life (and for the stage) blossomed through her parent’s unwavering devotion, both channeling her interests and strengths into daily activities the whole family could join forces in. When Lori’s father Rick developed Bell’s Palsy, Lori dedicated each day to crafting one perfect joke to make her dad smile. This lasted a year. And the jokes were so good that Dad and daughter decided to take the act on the road. After spending the day with this extraordinary family unit, it is quite obvious that Lori doesn’t fall far from the tree and has chosen to use her wit, humor and talents to entertain, inspire, and teach the world. In a year full of dynamic possibilities and shifts (and a possible woman president), Hernandez has not shied away from the opportunity to make each joke count, as well as, to create opportunity to break through barriers with social commentary that calls for action. And check out Hernandez’ YouTube inspired song about The Project for Girls at the end of this story. 

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