After working as a figure skating coach in Southern California for more than two decades, Lexie Hernandez decided it was time to take her skills to the next level with a sports coaching degree from the United States Sports Academy.

A resident of San Diego, Calif., Hernandez is the Academy’s latest Student of the Month. The mother of two and professional figure skating coach is seeking her Bachelor of Sports Science degree in sports coaching from the institution.

“I have been skating since I was about five years old and coaching for the last 20 years,” Hernandez said. “I basically went from competitive skating as a teenager right into coaching as a young adult and never took the time to get a degree. Now that I have all of that experience, I decided it was time to get a degree to go with it. I want to show my kids that a college degree is valuable and that there is never a bad time to educate yourself.

“I meet a lot of figure skating coaches who have degrees in one thing or another, but not many have a coaching specific degree. The Academy degree program combines my love for sport and competition with the science behind it all. I am excited to not only see how this degree helps improve my coaching, but also how it impacts my life by making me a better person.”

Hernandez said the program’s flexibility and convenience benefit her busy life and the course content has been immediately applicable to her career.

“The Academy’s program is convenient for me with my family at home and my work as a coach,” Hernandez said. “I’m able to take my classes and get my work done in between being a mom, coaching, and work travel.”

Figure skating can be grueling and difficult, but Hernandez said she loves that the sport combines power and athleticism with grace and beauty.

“There’s really nothing like feeling that cold air on your face as you glide around on the ice,” Hernandez said. “When you are out there, gliding freely in the rink, the feeling is indescribable. I was six years old when I first stepped out onto the ice at a rink in the mall in my town, and I’ve been captivated by the sport ever since.”

She also noted that she learned of her Student of the Month selection in the same week that her 7-year-old son was named Student of the Week at his school.

“I want this degree to better myself, but I’m also doing it to show my kids the value of education and that you can do anything you put your mind to,” Hernandez said. “It was just a great moment that I was able to share with my son – that we were both recognized by our schools at the same time.”