Diversity Woman Magazine

FALL 2012

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

Issue link: https://diversitywoman.epubxp.com/i/91258

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Page 56 of 79

stories of diverse Americans are undoubtedly different from the ones we usually see on the news. O'Brien continues to show similar complexities on Starting Point. For example, she recently had as guests Romeo Santos, a Dominican-American singer, who spoke about his efforts to increase the number of Hispanic voters and educate them in a Voto Latino campaign, and singer Ledisi, who talked about her music and beauty. O 'Brien's success hasn't just given her the opportu- nity to tell unique stories and the power to give a plat- form to interesting people. She's also in a position to help those who otherwise would not make it. While covering Hurricane Katrina, O'Brien met Alexia Wilson, who couldn't af- ford to attend one of the few schools open in the area. O'Brien and her husband, Brad Raymond, committed to fund Wilson's education for five years. Ten in 2010, they started the Sole- www.diversitywoman.com dad O'Brien and Brad Raymond Foundation to help young girls financially so they can accomplish their goals. "I can't change the stories, but I can change the outcome," O'Brien says. Te foundation's first star-studded event in 2011 raised $300,000. During our interview, O'Brien lights up as she tells me about Tierra Moore, a young woman from Los Angeles with a compel- ling survival story. Moore's stepfather tried to kill her and her mother in a fire, but a neighbor helped them escape. Tey were left without a home, Moore's tuition at UCLA increased, and her mother had just taken a pay cut. Tings looked dire, but Moore was so determined to graduate that she commuted for six hours to and from school and still held two jobs to help the family and pay for school. With the help of O'Brien-Raymond scholarship funds, Moore was able to focus on her education and graduate. "Without help from the foundation, I would not have been able to study abroad in France or even graduate on time, if at all," Moore says. She finished school with two majors—political science Fall 2012 DIVERSITY WOMAN 55

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