Marco Revuelta was brought up by Ray Ruiz
Ruiz isn’t a reporter, or a professional writer, and he’s certainly not a professor — yet five days out of the week, you can catch him mentoring the voice of tomorrow inside the halls of the University of Houston. Ruiz’s organization, El Gato Media Network, has been teaching students what it takes to break in and succeed in a highly competitive field for more than five years. It is through his organization that I first went out and covered a breaking news story while in college. This kind of experience not only set me apart from my classmates in my broadcast classes, but also gave me the confidence to push for my dream. His mentoring led me to go outside schools walls and interview a “Palatero” and his daily struggles to be safe, cover immigration rallies in Houston, and even cover the inauguration of Mayor Sylvester Brown in Houston. But above all this, he thought me the power of a story. After writing an article over the low turn out of Hispanics at museums in Houston, my “real” person in my article was offered a free membership to the museum for a whole year. It was Ruiz who first introduced me to NAHJ my junior year in college, encouraging me to apply for their scholarships and students projects. It is thanks to his organization that I was able to create content that helped me be selected for the NABJ/NAHJ 2016 student projects. And on top of that, it is through EGMN that I was able to land my first TV job in Laredo TX. Ruiz’s countless hours spent with me my last two years in college instilled knowledge in me that I was not learning from any of my professors. I’ve often questioned myself what’s his story behind mentoring all these kids without receiving any monetary compensation. It’s an answer I will never know, but what I do know is that he made a difference in my life.
Ray has also served as a mentor for NAHJ Student Projects.
Yunuen Bonaparte was brought up by Inez González
I’ve received mentorship and support from many NAHJ members, however, Inez González was the one that opened the first doors that led me to where I am now. She was the one that held my hand and explain how things worked at my alma mater, California State University Fullerton (CSUF), and in the journalism/entertainment industry. As a transfer student, I felt lost in what it looked like an immense campus during the first weeks of the fall semester. Most of the faces I encountered in my classes did not look like me. I found myself crying in the corners of the tall buildings, wondering what was I doing there and whether I belonged. Soon after I met one my current best friends. He introduced me to Inez as the person that would change my life–and he did not exaggerate. I knew Inez was going to be a huge part of my academic and career success since our first meeting. She was straightforward and sensitive about my situation. She knew exactly the struggle a first generation, female, undocumented student had to face. Yet, she never let me limit myself to what I could accomplish. Ever since, I’ve counted with her complete support. She believes in me even when I don’t. She pushes me to reach higher. As the director of the Latino Communicators Initiative, Inez created a strong community within the CSUF Latino students and alumnus. She inspires us to help each other be successful. As a freelance photojournalist, I am able to make a living by turning to my network, which Inez helped me cultivate and grow. Inez has helped numerous CSUF alumnus and continues to help students, just like me. I feel confident to say that there are #MoreLatinosInNews and in media because of her.