Member of the Month: Frank Morales

Frank Morales is a Board Member of HAHMP and has served on the Board for many years in the role of Treasurer. He is also a longtime staff member at KTMD Telemundo 47. Here is a short Q and A with our March 2013 member of the Month, Frank Morales.

How did you get involved in HAHMP?

A: I got involved through the encouragement of my previous General Manager, Roel Medina. I knew very little of the organization, but as I got involved more I enjoyed donating my time for a very good cause and a great organization that helps aspiring journalist.

What are three things people will be surprised to know about you?

A: That I enjoy reading science fiction books, that I like to do a lot of sports, (soccer, biking, hiking, fishing, and anything ending in ..ing) and I am very demanding of my goals and accomplishments.

What is your hobby?

A: I like to practice several sports – soccer, biking, running, hiking, fishing, hunting and much more.

How would you describe a perfect day off?

A: A perfect day for me is one that I would have accomplished a minimum of 3 things that I set myself out to do and finish for the day.

What is your favorite food?

A: I have no favorite food, but I love to eat Chinese and Mexican food.

What is your biggest fear?

A: Not having enough time in the day to do the things I need to do.

What part of the world would you like to visit and why?

A: I would love to visit Europe. I have always been fascinated to backpack through the many countries in the European community and learn much about their history and places.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

A: I see myself in my current position with my current employer (Telemundo) and growing within, but I also push myself for goals that would make me grow and am always looking for growth career wise and in my personal life.

What is your biggest advice to students?

A: Stay in school and get your Bachelor’s degree. Never give up on school. Even if you have to take one class in a semester, always stay in college and in due time you will finish because I would not be where I am if it was not for my education and when you do achieve your Bachelor’s and you can continue with a Master’s, do it! It pays off.

If you could take back time and give yourself any advice what would it be?

A: To all the high school students, go straight to college, don’t put it off for a year or two after you graduate from High School. You either don’t go back to college or when you do go back it is twice as hard and yes, twice as expensive.

Norma Vasquez, 2011 & 2012 HAHMP Scholarship Winner

This year’s scholarship deadline is rapidly approaching (March 29, 2013). As part of our spotlight on the deadline, and on the scholarship itself, we invited previous years’ scholarship winners to share the impact the scholarship had on them.

Norma Vasquez, 2011 & 2012 HAHMP Scholarship Winner

“I am currently a senior at the University of Houston and I will be graduating in May with a bachelors in Broadcast Journalism. I am also working at Houston Community College as a Public Relations Assistant.

“The HAHMP scholarship has made a huge difference in my college career. Thanks to this scholarship, I was able to continue my studies and because I continued my studies, I have been able to grow as a journalist as well as a person. This scholarship did not only mean it paid for my school, it also meant being able to have the honor of saying I am an HAHMP scholarship recipient. Thank you once again HAHMP!”

Jesus Acevedo, 2011 HAHMP Scholarship Winner

This year’s scholarship deadline is rapidly approaching (March 29, 2013). As part of our spotlight on the deadline, and on the scholarship itself, we invited previous years’ scholarship winners to share the impact the scholarship had on them.

Jesus Acevedo, 2011 HAHMP Scholarship Winner

“1. I’m a 2011 Fall graduate from UH with a Bachelors in Print Journalism. I’m currently a freelance journalist with La Voz.

2. The HAHMP scholarship helped me because it allowed me to work less and focus more of my time on my studies.”

Danelia Gomez, 2010 HAHMP Scholarship Winner

This year’s scholarship deadline is rapidly approaching. As part of our spotlight on the deadline, and on the scholarship itself, we invited previous years’ scholarship winners to share the impact the scholarship had on them.

Danelia Gomez, 2010 HAHMP Scholarship Winner

“I am in my last semester of college. In may I will be graduating as a Communication major with a Creative Writing minor. I am currently working with Houston on the Move, and I am also the Editor for my university’s literary magazine: Laurels. “The HAHMP Scholarship has made a great difference in both my academic and my personal life. I moved from Mexico to Houston to attend the University of Saint Thomas, leaving behind my family. Because I am not a U.S. citizen but hold an F-1 Visa, it has been extremely hard for me to find any kind of financial support; my first year of college my parents had to bear the weight of paying for the entirety of tuition and housing without any external help. Then, I was awarded with the HAHMP Scholarship and both my parents and I felt as if finally someone understood our situation and was willing to help us.

“The HAHMP Scholarship has also opened my eyes to a whole new understanding of the media world. With the different workshops that I was able to be part of as a recipient of the scholarship, I discovered the way real world media professionals work and reaffirmed my dream to become one.”

Edgar Veliz, 2010 HAHMP Scholarship Winner

This year’s scholarship deadline is rapidly approaching (March 29, 2013). As part of our spotlight on the deadline, and on the scholarship itself, we invited previous years’ scholarship winners to share the impact the scholarship had on them.

Edgar Veliz, 2010 HAHMP Scholarship Winner

“I am in my second semester of graduate school and I’m the communications intern at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. I’ll be living in Kansas City for the next few months.

“The HAHMP Scholarship gave me much more than financial assistance. It allowed me to work with other students and professionals during the workshops and network, which is key in this business. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had not attended the workshops and events through HAHMP.”

Jennifer Barrera, 2011 HAHMP Scholarship Winner

This year’s scholarship deadline is rapidly approaching (March 29, 2013). As part of our spotlight on the deadline, and on the scholarship itself, we invited previous years’ scholarship winners to share the impact the scholarship had on them.

Jennifer Barrera, 2011 HAHMP Scholarship Winner

“The more I think about the time I was awarded the scholarship the more I know It was more than an investment to my career but my life.

“Fall 2011 was the most challenging semester of all. I got married and was pregnant during that time. The fact I didn’t have the funds to go that semester after my financial aid never awarded me any money. The scholarship was the fund that gave the plus to know I had to keep believing and turning forward to the essential of I am and where I am visioning to head.

“Now I am not longer only a young lady with goals and projects, but now I am a women who knows the biggest impact and influence tools to change a generation begins with my wonderful baby girl. and my married life. I’m still enrolled at the University of Houston knowing that I am preparing myself with different vision, mission and strategies to use my God-given potential whenever the time and opportunity comes by.
I haven’t graduate yet but I’m planning to graduate by Fall 2013.

“Thank you for the opportunity and the faith to know the scholarship was more than funds but was the only door open to walk in improvement. “

Member of the Month: Mariné Hernández

Mariné HernándezHAHMP member since her college days at the University of Houston and a fundamental part of HAHMP’s launch of “Houston On the Move” television show, here is a short Q and A with our February 2013 member of the month: Mariné Hernández.

What have you gained being part of HAHMP?

Friends, knowledge and lots of contacts! When I was a student I got the opportunity to meet people that were already on the air and I got a chance to mingle with them and learn about what they did. By doing so I was able to reconfirm my desires to work in TV. As a professional, I have made lots of contacts and continue to meet new people. Once I became a freelancer, I had the opportunity to serve on HAHMP’s board and start something never done before by the organization, a television show. “Houston on the Move” allowed me to keep practicing being on the air and I also learned how to be a producer. So in every aspect of my life, HAHMP has always been an organization that has done something for me.

What is your biggest advice to anyone that wants to pursue in the journalism field?

Make sure you love it! Not love being on TV or on the radio or being known, but love working in the field and being a journalist. Just like in any other career, you must love your job in order to endure the sacrifices that come with. I assure you the rewards are incredible.

What has been the best advice you have received and from whom?

My parents told me to never be scared to try new things and to pursue my dreams no matter how distant they may seem.

Who do you admire and why?

I admire many people, celebrities, journalists, but currently I give most of my admiration to all Mothers. It is a tough job.

What is your favorite hobby? Why?

Dancing, it makes me feel happy.

Is there something you still want to do that you haven’t done yet?

Many things, the first one is getting back to the gym.

What is something you would never dare to do?

Have a pet. I have a fear of animals. Don’t ask me why. I grew up in Mexico in a house full of all sorts of animals.

Fill in the blank: If I ever met _______ I would…

If I ever met Ryan Seacrest I would tell him that I have envidia de la buena! I still love entertainment and covering it like he does would be so much fun.

Student Member of the Month: Jessica Bolaños

Jessica BolanosHow long have you been a member of HAHMP?

I first became a member in 2009. My husband Nelson Vanegas, who I was dating at the time, heard about HAHMP from his coworkers at Univision Radio and invited me to attend one of the monthly meetings at United Way. We’ve both been involved ever since.

What have you gained from being part of this organization?

I have definitely been able to build quality relationships with other HAHMP members who are now a great influence in my life both personally and professionally. Frida Villalobos, the Manager of Communications at the Houston Area Women’s Center is one amazing person I have met through the organization. I look up to Frida, her amazing work in the community as well as her incredible support in my own projects. I was also able to meet Ray Ruiz, Director of El Gato Media Network, in one of the HAHMP board meetings. Last year Ray published a newspaper article where he featured me in an interview about young Latina entrepreneurs. There are also plenty of opportunities to volunteer for various events co-sponsored by HAHMP like the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) Conference and a Town Hall Meeting at Rice University. There are so many great people and organizations that are a part of HAHMP. It really has been a great experience.

What is your major? And what do you aspire to do in the future?

I’m studying Business Entrepreneurship at the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship (WCE) in the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. The WCE program faculty and mentors have been an amazing blessing in my life as well. It’s pretty ironic because when I started the program in my junior year I was planning to expand the for-profit multi-media marketing company I co-founded with my husband as a freshman in college. But the WCE Personal Purpose steps that the program walked us through made me realize I actually wanted to be a non-profit social tech entrepreneur. My passion is to use social media for social good by crowdfunding educational opportunities for youth in developing countries. Crowdfunding is a fairly new funding model that uses the power of social media and the Internet to bring a crowd of people together to fund a cause they believe in; in our case that’s
access to education. We plan to launch our organization and our first crowdfunding campaign this summer, and I’ll be working on that full time after I graduate in May. The name of our org is called The Good CrowdFund, a non-profit crowdfunding organization that helps facilitate the recycling of books and educational resources to youth in developing countries. So I guess it’s safe to say my future will be full of
crowdfunding campaigns, documentary film productions and ebook publications to spread viral awareness through social media about the need for access to basic educational resources that children in developing countries simply don’t have.

What are three things most people would be surprised to know about you?

1. I’m a hip-hop freestyle dancer at heart.
2. I don’t watch TV.
3. And I’m a symmetrical perfectionist. Meaning, I like the labels on the drinks in my fridge to face perfectly forward and the pens lying on my notebooks to align with the lines on the pad.

Where do you see yourself in 5 yrs?

In 5 years I see myself somewhere in Africa or India getting to know the culture and interests of the youth there, and working to crowdfund the books and resources they need to educate themselves in their respective interests so that they can help uplift communities as I’ve been able to do with the education I’ve been blessed to received here in America.

What has been the best advice given to you?

Several wise and experienced professionals have told me repeatedly that I should never do anything for the money. To just follow my heart and pursue my passion(s) and the money will come.

What’s one place you would like to travel in the world and why?

I’d like to travel to Machu Picchu, a 15th century Inca site built on a mountain in Peru. It looks like an amazing and humbling place to visit. I’ve heard the view, people and just about everything else about Machu Picchu is amazing.

What would your advice be to any high school senior wanting to go to College?

I would say to research different universities and the programs available that match their personal interests. I chose the University of Houston specifically for the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship because I knew I wanted to start my own business and the curriculum in the WCE is based around each individual student’s business idea. But whichever college you choose I would highly advise every student to be active on campus. What I mean by that is to join student organizations that are involved with things you are interested in, attend guest speaker presentations around campus and apply for the various opportunities to travel with student groups to local community gatherings or international study abroad programs. Spend less time partying with other freshman and more time networking with upperclassmen.

What has been one of your biggest accomplishments?

One of my biggest accomplishments was going to South America last summer as a pre-launch project for The Good CrowdFund. My husband and I raised enough funds for our cause at our wedding in August. This allowed us to go to Colombia and donate books to kids living in an underserved village called Ararca. After working for 7 months (cost-free via social media and the internet) with a local non-profit called Arriba Las Manos, in a nearby town, we were able to deliver books alongside their organization who delivered school uniforms handmade by a local mother, as well as shoes, socks, paper and other educational materials. I feel like my parents provided me with the opportunity to be educated here in the U.S. and I’ve always wanted to give back to others who aren’t as fortunate as I am, or at least don’t have the same opportunities that we have here in America. Getting to finally give back to others after all this hard work is an amazing feeling and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life helping others achieve great things through the simple power of education.

Remembering Lori Rodriguez

HAHMP will Gather to Celebrate Life of Texas Journalist Pioneer

Lori RodriguezLori Rodriguez

Saturday, June 30, 2012
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Downtown Club at the Met
340 West Dallas Street
between Clay St. & the Pierce Elevated
Houston, TX 77002

6th Floor of the Parking Garage at the Allen Center

Yellow sign above the entrance on Dallas Street: The Downtown Club at the Met

For more information: 713-652-0700

Light refreshments will be served

Rodriguez was a former active HAHMP and NAHJ member. She was a staple in the journalism world in Houston, a former Houston Chronicle reporter, who many remember as a tenacious and fearless journalist. Rodriguez died earlier this month. 

KHOU’s Anchor Vicente Arenas remembers her as being quiet, but yet powerful. She was a trailblazer in the Hispanic community and was passionate about raising scholarship money for journalism students. Many in the industry remember her as outspoken and dedicated to her work.

Read her full obituary written by Houston Chronicle Reporter Allen Turner.