Rihanna was Awarded with the 2017 Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award

On February 28, Rihanna was on Harvard campus accepting the Peter J. Games Humanitarian award. She’s receiving this award for donating and building a state-of- the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados.

In 2012, she founded the nonprofit the Clara Lionel Foundation Global Scholarship Program [named for her grandparents] for students attending college in the U.S. from Caribbean countries, and supports the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project, which provides children with access to education in over 60 developing countries, giving priority to girls, and those affected by lack of access to education in the world today.

Long story short Rihanna is awesome and this international musical phenomenon, is a Barbados-born singer, actress, and songwriter. Her full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty — she has sold more than 200 million records. Using her success for good Rihanna is changing the lives of those in need.

The Harvard Foundation recognizes prominent public-spirited leaders each year in honor of the late Rev. Professor Peter J. Gomes. “Rihanna has charitably built a state-of- the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados,” said the Harvard Foundation’s director S. Allen Counter.

She’s also helped many other kids receive educations as an ambassador for the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project. She was in Malawi last week for the campaign, People reports, and performed at last year’s Global Citizen Festival, which helps end poverty.

While promoting education, she says “Higher education will help provide perspective, opportunities, and learning to a group of kids who really deserve it. I am thrilled to be able to do this,” she told USA Today when she started the scholarship.

As well as promoting education she promotes healthcare. Rihanna built a center dedicated to breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados, where she grew up. She also appeared in a World AIDS Day PSA with Prince William, where they pricked their fingers to demonstrate how simple getting an HIV test is.

She joins an eclectic group of honorees. Past recipients include girls’ education advocate Malala Yousafzai, Star Wars and The Lion King voice actor James Earl Jones, and four recent U.N. Secretaries General.

Rihanna is doing great things and making all of us proud! By using her fortune for good she is making a change. Not only is she helping those that really need it and are appreciating it, she is being recognized for it nationally. Who knew she was doing all of this?! I sure didn’t, she kept it all very lowkey.

She is broadening her spectrum of talents beyond the singer song writer talents and being recognized for doing good charitable work in the world.

You go RiRi!!

For more info and quotes: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/02/rihanna-named-humanitarian-of-year/

 

First Wheelchair Model to Hit the Ukrainian Runway

Alexandra Kutas is paralyzed from the waist down and lives her life in a wheelchair but insists her disability won’t deter her dreams of becoming a model. She made her first modeling debut at Ukraine Fashion Week. She says she wants ALL designer shows to include wheelchair-bound models.

This young model is making her debut at Ukraine Fashion Week despite never being able to walk.

She’s from Kiev, Ukraine, has been featured in several exhibitions and been invited to work as a hostess at Ukraine Fashion Week later this year.

She’s determined and hopes that by working the exclusive event it will open doors for a career in high-end fashion. As well as balancing her modelling career with her day job as a physiologist, she is also fighting for better facilities for wheelchair users.

Alexandra, who suffered a spinal cord injury during birth, said: ‘I was first interested in the idea of becoming a model when I was 16.

‘I was spotted by a photographer when I was in a cafe one day and she invited me to do a shoot – I was so inspired and realized that modelling was what I wanted to do.’

Alexandra adds that she hopes to use her position to change the landscape of the modelling industry for wheelchair users.

‘Because of a birth injury I could never walk and have always been in wheelchair.

‘But I’m hoping that Ukraine Fashion Week will be a chance to meet designers and voice my own concepts.

‘I have so many ideas about using model with disabilities and I have an idea of how it should look.’

Normally I write about Hispanic women and their empowering moves, but this can’t be ignored. Alexandra is making history and making it so people in wheelchairs can feel beautiful too.

This is starting with her empowering women, but this will eventually move to men being a part of this movement as well. She is inspiring others and is the pioneer in this movement.

Her hard work and determination is just the beginning and the results that can come from this. You go girl!

All quotes received from; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3218076/Disabled-woman-make-modelling-debut-Ukraine-Fashion-Week.html#ixzz4aIudSWS5

 

First Hispanic Women to go to Space is Being Inducted into the Hall of Fame

Her name is Ellen Ochoa, and she was the first Latina women who made it to space. It was announced that on May 19th she will be inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame for her success.

A quote from Ms. Ochoa about the news; “I’m honored to be recognized among generations of astronauts who were at the forefront of exploring our universe for the benefit of humankind, I hope to continue to inspire our nation’s youth to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math, so they, too, may reach for the stars.”

Ochoa is from Mexico and she joined NASA as a research engineer at Ames Research Center in 1988. By 1990, she moved onto the Johnson Space Center, where she was selected as an astronaut and made her historic trip to space in 1993.

Her success doesn’t stop there. Ochoa is currently the director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, the second woman and first Latina to lead its 13,000 employees.

“Being an astronaut, and part of a team, is really rewarding, and now I have a different perspective,” she said when she first got the position four years ago, “the end goal is still the same – carrying out exciting and challenging mission in space.”

Hearing about successful Latinas as models or actors is something you would almost expect, but as an astronaut?!

Hearing about this story I knew I had to write about it, I know nothing about space and astronauts but when a Latina is being inducted into the hall of fame for it I’ll read into it.

This success for not only a woman but a Hispanic woman is monumental for the Hispanic community. Definitely something to be proud of!

All quotes and statistics are from;

http://www.vibe.com/2017/02/ellen-ochoa-first-latina-in-space-astronaut-hall-of-fame/

 

 

A Day Without Immigrants

This past Thursday immigrants all over the United States took a stand.

The stand they took was meant to demonstrate how important they are to America’s economy and its way of life, and many businesses closed in solidarity, in a nationwide protest called A Day Without Immigrants.

These Actions took place in places with large immigrant populations such as Philadelphia, Washington D.C and Los Angeles.

The boycott was aimed squarely at President Donald Trump’s efforts to crack down on immigration, legal and illegal. Organizers said they expected thousands to participate or otherwise show their support.

Since the end of 2007, the number of foreign-born workers employed in the U.S. has climbed by nearly 3.1 million to 25.9 million; they account for 56 percent of the increase in U.S. employment over that period, according to the Labor Department.

“The really important dynamic to note is this is not antagonistic, employee-against-employer,” said Janet Murguia, president of the Hispanic rights group National Council of La Raza. “This is employers and workers standing together, not in conflict.”

She added: “Businesses cannot function without immigrant workers today.” (CBS News)

I am a second generation Hispanic, both of my parents were born here. But they are both the youngest in their families and are the only ones in their families that were born in the U.S so my parents are first generations.

My grandparents, aunts and uncles are all immigrants. Granted they are Costa Rican and Puerto Rican immigrants and Mexican Immigrants are the ones getting the most attention, but in the end, they are still immigrants.

They came here legally looking for the American dream and if it wasn’t for their motivation and courage to come to America I don’t know where I would be today.

The immigration laws are controversial and not something I really want to get into, but immigrants themselves deserve to be here and are a very important part of the American day to day life.

Image result for a day without immigrants

The reason most immigrants come to the U.S and leave their homeland, is for a better opportunity for themselves and their family and to chase the American dream. Is there anything so wrong with that?!

In Washington, D.C., more than a hundred-people gathered to march in acknowledgement of A Day Without Immigrants, CBS News’ Nicole Sganga reported. There were boisterous crowds, musicians, handmade drums, young kids, and large banners reading “they will not build borders in our community,” “immigrants work for America’s prosperity” and “We have a right to an education! To a future!” (CVS News)

Quotes and statistics gathered from: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/day-without-immigrants-protest-closes-many-us-restaurants-nationwide/?ftag=CNM-00-10aab7e&linkId=34589722

Disney’s First Hispanic Princess

Elena of Avalor is the first Hispanic princess Disney has made a television series about “a brave and adventurous teenager who has saved her kingdom from an evil sorceress and must now learn to rule as crown princess until she is old enough to be queen.”

“She’s still underage so she’s not yet ready to rule and so, she just has the challenge of taking care of her family and this huge kingdom and have this awesome responsibility,” said actress Aimee Carrero, who is the voice of Elena.

Carrero’s mother is of Dominican decent and her father is Puerto Rican. Carrero said it means “absolutely everything” for her to play the first Latina princess.

The series will tell stories that draw on the traditions, foods and customs of Latin and Hispanic cultures. Magic, mythology and folklore will also play an important role, and each episode will include original songs in several Latin musical styles including Latin pop, salsa and banda.

For me as a Puerto Rican and Costa Rican girl growing up seeing all these beautiful princess’ I could never really relate to any of them. The one I related to the most was Jasmine because she had tan skin and long black hair, but she is obviously of Arabic decent.

“What I love most about Elena is she’s her own hero,” Carrero added. “There’s no ‘Prince Charming,’ so I hope people at home watching will just be inspired her sense of self, her confidence and her leadership.”

This is the best part for me, because being a Hispanic female there’s expectations and stereotypes that come with the title. So, the fact she is an independent princess with no prince makes it all the more riveting and exciting to watch. I’m sure eventually there will be a prince but her independence for the time being is fun to experience.

Through the recent years, they have done an amazing job bringing more ethnic princesses to the big screen. The most recent one I have seen is Moana and she is a Polynesian princess, that was a great movie might I add.

But I can definitely say the progress being made with princess is great and I love finally having a princess I can relate to and my little cousins can finally have a princess Barbie doll they will look like.

Source: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/disney-introduces-latina-princess-elena-avalor/story?id=40481827

Empowering Doll Line Makes Girls Feel Beautiful in Their Own Skin

$20,000 is a lot of money, and that’s how much this empowering doll line scored on Shark Tank. Angelica and Jason Sweeting appeared on an episode of “Shark Tank” in hopes to get a $200,000 investment and they did. They call their doll line Naturally Perfect Dolls, and they founded them in 2015.

During the episode, the couple told the judges that the doll line came to be after one of their daughters was profusely crying on a car ride home from a book fair. “Finally when she calms down, we say,

‘Hey babe, what’s wrong with you?’” And she says, ‘Dad, I’ll never be beautiful. I need yellow hair and white skin so that way I can be beautiful.’ And we were totally devastated.”

Angelica explained that they saw the typical images of beauty that their child is seeing on television and in toys and began searching for dolls that looked like their daughter and found nothing. So, they created a doll and over time found a change in their daughter’s attitude (Huffington post).Image result for shark tank color girl dolls

This doll line includes four dolls with different hair types, skin shades and facial features that are true to women of color. The company also offers a T-shirt depicting the characters and an affirmation book.

“Naturally Perfect Dolls aims to change the standard of beauty one doll at a time while encouraging self-acceptance, diversity and letting girls know that they can be whatever they want to be.”

On Shark Tank, the judges liked the concept overall, but they were hesitant to invest due to the doll’s high price ($84.99) and the failure of previous multicultural doll lines.

But the couple’s story resonated with judge and FUBU creator Daymond John. He proposed to invest $200,000 at 30% ownership, 60% for the founders and 10% for charity. The Sweetings accepted, ensuring that they’ll be able to mass produce the dolls.

After watching this Shark Tank episode I knew I had to blog about it because two empowering doll stories about making girls feel beautiful is a rare occurrence.

It’s relevant that doll companies have quite a bit to work on when it comes to their dolls and the image they portray to all the different types of girls, but I am glad that people are out there trying to make a difference.

Growing up I had the same feeling about what I looked like, I could NEVER find a doll that looked like me and that made me feel different and not accepted.

At the age of 20 I can finally buy a doll that looks like me, that’s some exciting stuff!!

Quotes for this blog were found on: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/black-doll-line-shark-tank_us_5877a406e4b05b7a465e1d77

Just a Hispanic Female Trying to Make it in the PR world

A statistic PRSA had on one of their blog posts was “According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2020, 36.5 percent of the U.S. population will be comprised of Blacks, Asians/Pacific Islanders, Hispanics/Latinos and Native Americans. Just as the industry must adapt to changing technologies, it must also respond to changes in its audience and talent pool.”

I found this blog on the PRSA website called Lack of #PR Diversity makes Diversity Month ever more relevant, and it really hit home for me.

The practice of PR is one that is constantly changing not only in the way business is done and communicated but the people and the demographics that are involved. This is a personal topic for me since I am both a Puerto Rican and Costa Rican female trying to succeed in the PR world.

I am not saying that the PR world has no diversity, it’s actually quite diverse when it comes to the skill sets needed, mindsets of the workers, and the cultures all of the organizations deal with. But the ethnic diversity is one that is lacking and needs growth in their field since it is constantly growing around us.

I say this because I’m not only a female trying to make it in the PR world but an ethnic female trying to make it. As I job search and connect with PR professionals on LinkedIn I am seeing the diversity first hand. It’s a bit lacking, but then I see the job opportunities they have around the world in places such as Spain, Switzerland, and China. That’s when I realized that they have no choice but to be diverse in picking possible future candidates for their jobs, especially if you are bilingual.

Since I am from Puerto Rico and Costa Rican I speak Spanish as my first language, and there are a few jobs I’ve found that have speaking Spanish as a requirement. This gives me hope. Yes, the job is in a Spanish speaking place, but they need someone on both ends that can speak the language.

I’m hoping that my skill sets can possibly give me leverage in the job field since they are searching to make their work places more diverse.

 

http://prsay.prsa.org/2016/08/01/lack-of-prdiversity-makes-diversity-month-ever-more-relevant/

Be Diverse in What You Have Done and Have Pride in What You 

The importance of diversity and pride in what you do is something Barb Arnott emphasized in her talk while discussing her past experiences and current job position. She also explained that it is important for us as students to seek out new experiences.

“You have to be able to do a little bit of everything, it’s not just a one shot thing.”

Barb Arnott has a diverse work background and considers herself an AP and news nerd. She graduated from Central Washington in ’09 with her BA in journalism.

She started as a movie review writer in high school and went on to become part of the Observer here at Central. Then after she graduated she was an intern at the Daily Record and currently works in the Public Affairs office as the Public Affairs coordinator.

As a student she said she wishes that she took more of an advantage of what the school had to offer and encourages students to do so. It gives students new learning experiences and can help them build their personal portfolio. These new experiences can give you more confidence when you graduate when entering the work force.

She has learned a lot with all her past experiences as a student and now as a professional. She has learned multiple styles of writing, how to put herself out there and the correct way to respond to crisis communication. Her diverse background gives her confidence in her future endeavors.

“I feel I can go in any direction with my strengths and past experiences”

In her current job position she is helping build the CWU brand. Her goal is to make sure people see Central as a positive organization.
“You want people to get a warm fuzzy when they think about Central.”

Along with a positive name brand it seems that public affairs also has these three goals: recruitment, retention & donation. Is what is said going to make people want to come to Central? When they come will they want to stay? Happy students and faculty will make for more future investments.

She also said that the people of Central Washington University need to be enjoying their experience in hope that it will make them want to spread the word about it. Barb Arnott emphasized that she feels that; “When you’re excited about something it makes it easier to share your excitement.”

Being diverse in what you have done and having pride in what you do is what I personally took from Arnotts talk today. I plan on applying that in my personal and professional life from here on out.