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 58 of 79

Soledad O'Brien and global studies—and a minor in geography. Now that Moore has her eyes set on Harvard Law School, O'Brien has introduced her to Cecilia O'Brien (her sister), a Harvard Law graduate and patent attorney. Cecilia helped guide Moore through the appli- cation process. Te scholarship also included a stipend for travel to visit campuses during the search. O'Brien also tells me about an impressive girl she met while filming "Latino in America." Maria Arqueta, a young Guate- malan, crossed the Rio Grande using the inner tube of a car tire with the help of a coyote. She got caught and lived in a detention center in Miami, but her mother was more inter- ested in a boyfriend than in Arqueta, who became a ward of the state. When O'Brien met Arqueta to film the documentary, she was struck by Arqueta's desire to succeed despite all this. Arqueta wanted to complete college and go on to become a pe- diatrician. As O'Brien followed her story, Arqueta went before a judge, who granted her a visa. O'Brien stepped in to make sure Arqueta had funds and mentors to help her achieve her dreams. For O'Brien, efforts to help others aren't isolated acts of kind- ness and they aren't done for positive public relations. In Te Next Big Story, O'Brien writes about the mentors she's had along the way who have helped her navigate the male-dominated media Life, Work, and Community ß Soledad O'Brien and Bradley Raymond have four children, including a set of twins. ß All of her siblings went to Harvard. ß She co-anchored American Morning from 2003 to 2007. ß In November 2008, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health awarded her the Goodermote Humanitarian Award for her efforts while reporting on the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. ß In 2004, she was included in People en Español's 50 Most Beautiful. ß In 2007, O'Brien was awarded the NAACP President's Award. ß She is a member of the National Association of Black Journal- ists, which named her the Journalist of the Year 2010, and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. She is a member of the board of directors of the After-School Corporation, a nonprof- it organization dedicated to expanding educational opportunities for all students. She also serves on the board of directors of The Harlem School of the Arts. www.diversitywoman.com Fall 2012 DIVERSITY WOMAN 57 industry. O'Brien knows all too well how important mentors are. When it comes to women and power, O'Brien says we face a huge conflict and that it's a balancing act that's "hard to navi- gate." Because O'Brien's mother was tenacious and secure, it's no surprise that the O'Brien children were too. "I grew up thinking that being aggressive was a positive thing," O'Brien says. One day she was stunned and thrown off course during a meeting when a manager called her aggressive and, O'Brien realized, "clearly meant it as something negative." It was a verbal offense that brought O'Brien to tears after the encounter. Because of that, O'Brien made a vow: "I never go to a meeting without an agenda. As a woman, it's important not to get sidetracked by someone." O'Brien thinks it's also important not to sidetrack her career by chasing job titles. "I learned to stop looking for the next job with the nice title," O'Brien says. "It could lead to work that's not interesting. Instead, I look for the next assignment. What story am I going to tell next? I choose what stories I tell." Tis approach allows her to enjoy the ride. "I want people to think I fought very hard to get diverse voices on camera," she says. "It's where I've put most of my energy." DW Jenny Mero is a frequent contributor to DW.

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