Selena Gomez: Innovating Social Media

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By Mackenna Cummings

Actress and singer Selena Gomez got her start at the age of nine on Barney and Friends and quickly rose as a Disney Channel star with the television show Wizards of Waverly Place, where she played a Latina-Italian middle daughter on the longest-running Disney channel show. But the young performer has moved far beyond her early days as a teen celebrity, and she’s using her rising status to bring awareness to issues she is passionate about.

Today, Gomez’s songs have reached millions in records sales, she has been nominated for several VMA awards, and she is the highest paid influencer on Instagram, a social media platform where her life, interests, and projects are shared with her astounding 124 million followers.

In September, TIME Magazine recognized Gomez for being the first person to reach 100 million followers on Instagram in its project TIME Firsts, which highlights women making a difference in the world. The singer is grateful for the platform and how it has allowed her to connect even more with her fans, but she also tries to connect with them strategically. She admits that she is thankful she never grew up with this type of social media, because feeling good about yourself is hard enough as a young adult without being so aware of what everyone around you is accomplishing. This is why Gomez attempts to share her mistakes and vulnerability on her account along with her accomplishments. “I hope that they know that strength doesn’t mean that you have to put on a facade. Strength is being vulnerable,” she said in the feature.

And she has made quite an impact through her social media and her efforts to be open and honest. At 25 years old, Gomez has one of the largest voices and has chosen to use it across underrepresented issues, such as awareness for autoimmune diseases and mental health, equality for the LGBT community, her Hispanic heritage, and empowering students to make a difference. She uses her social media platforms, particularly Instagram, to share about these passions and how people can make a difference every day.

She posts regularly from all aspects of her life to connect with fans and make a positive difference in the world, though she admits it’s not always easy to hope change can come. But her honesty and willingness to share so much is exactly why TIME Magazine has named her the “tastemaker,” emphasizing its belief that she is capable of bringing change through her social media.

Selena Gomez – Headshot;
Photo Credit: Nicholas Christopher

The “Bad Liar” singer has opened up more about her own Lupus diagnosis and how that has affected her life and career over the years. While her diagnosis was nearly five years ago, upon canceling the end of her Revival tour last year, Gomez revealed more about her battle with Lupus while simultaneously showing her fans that it was more than OK to put yourself and your mental health above other obligations. She shared the difficult truths about the depression and social anxiety that often accompanies Lupus in an interview with Vogue, stating that checking into a treatment facility was the best thing she had ever done. Her reason behind sharing is not only for awareness and to raise money for research (her only birthday wish this past year) but to help remove the stigmas surrounding seeking help and getting therapy for important issues, particularly among women.

“We girls, we’re taught to be almost too resilient, to be strong and sexy and cool and laid-back; the girl who’s down,” she says. “We also need to feel allowed to fall apart.” While she was devastated to let down fans by canceling a portion of her tour, she is continuing to show her fans how to accept and seek out help when you need it.

The Revival tour also became a vehicle for Gomez to address other issues and passions, including her beliefs on the need for equality for the LGBT community and her identity as a Latina. In 2016, while many other performers were protesting the implementation of the HB2 law in North Carolina (a discriminatory law that targets the LGBT community particularly in regards to gender neutral restrooms) by canceling any concerts in the area, Gomez chose to keep her tour location in the state. She had her proceeds from the show go to an LGBT organization in protest against the law and was sure to include gender-neutral bathrooms at the venue, because making sure everyone felt welcome at her show was important.

WE Day California 2017 – WE Carpet –Photo Credit: Tommaso Boddi_Getty for WE Day

Continuing this support, Gomez recently wrote an open love letter to the LGBT community stating her love and calling for more inclusivity and acceptance. Having grown up with a mother who was supportive of all love and people, she admits that she was lucky to have such a positive and early relationship with the LGBT community and hopes that this letter can help others love and support the community as well.

Gomez announced the Revival tour to her Instagram followers with a photo of herself wearing the sugar-skull style makeup associated with El Dia de los Muertos, a Mexican celebration of the dead. Her merchandise on the tour represented more of her Latin roots with a bomber jacket also in the style of El Dia de los Muertos and a shirt with the same font and coloring as the well-known Selena Quintanilla fan shirt. The singer had already addressed the fact that the two share a name earlier that year in a radio interview with Doug Lazy.

“My dad and mom were huge fans. My name was going to be Priscilla, but my cousin actually took the name when she was born six months before me. They actually loved her music, so they just named me after her.” In fact, the two have a lot in common as Gomez is a Mexican-American born and raised in Texas just as Quintanilla was. Gomez has credited Quintanilla as a role model and inspiration, recognizing that her success was key in the success of future Latina stars.

Aside from world tours and number one hit songs, Gomez continues to make headlines for her charitable work and partnerships with programs and fashion lines alike. She continuously donates to research for Lupus and encourages fans to do the same. For last five years, she has participated in WE Day, which encourages students and families to make a positive difference in their community from environmental change to promoting inclusivity in the workplace all by coming together. During the past two WE Day Movements, she has not only participated but also hosted. “It’s not just they want to help a specific community or want to go to a certain place in the world,” Gomez said about the program.

Selea-Gomez-We-Day_2017
WE Day California 2017-Photo Credit: Tommaso Boddi_Getty for WE Day

“They are encouraging kids from even in your backyard to be doing something for your community, for your neighborhood, for your family, for your friends. […] And I love that they’re celebrating all these kids and how hard they’re working…It’s beautiful.”

Most recently, Gomez has partnered with Coach as the new face of the lifestyle brand. But she has taken this partnership further by bringing awareness to and participating in Coach’s charity partner, “Step Up.” The charity works to give young women from under-resourced communities confidence and support to graduate from high school and attend colleges successfully.

After meeting with two young girls the program was working with, Gomez said, “Step Up’s mission to empower young women is personally important to me and something even more crucial in underserved communities. Working with the young women I met today was an inspirational experience I will never forget.”

And who better to mentor young women on empowerment than a young Latina who has not only held her own as a top selling artist and the star of her own television series, but also proved her skills on the business side of Hollywood as the executive producer to the Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why? The series was so successful that a second season is already cast and in the works.

In addition to her success in Hollywood, Gomez has risen up to be an influence for young Latinas everywhere and anyone struggling with illnesses and mental health. Her positivity and focus on changing the dialogue and stigma surrounding diseases and therapy has made a powerful impact on those with similar experiences. She continues to find unique ways to spread awareness and gain support on important issues, from tour proceeds going to organizations and research to meeting with and celebrating her fans. In fact, scattered throughout her impressive Instagram account, she posts photos of her with fans continuously expressing her gratitude for their love. She is inspiring her 24 million followers to celebrate Latin culture, seek gender and LGBT equality, contribute to community service, strive for success as students, and support medical research all with humility and grace.

María Celeste Arrarás Joins Las Vegas Walk Of Stars

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MIAMI – April 19, 2018 – The host of Telemundo’s “Al Rojo Vivo” news magazine, María Celeste Arrarás, will soon add her name to the Las Vegas Walk of Stars. She is the first person born in Puerto Rico to receive this honor, held by a select group of superstars such as Juan Gabriel, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Luis Miguel, Vicente Fernández and Jenni Rivera.

María Celeste’s star will be unveiled in a special ceremony on Tuesday, April 24, and installed in its permanent sidewalk home for public viewing the following day, Wednesday, April 25.

“I owe this star to each and every one of the individuals who have stood alongside me during my career, and especially to the viewers who accompany me from home every day,” María Celeste acknowledged.

Emmy-award winning journalist and investigative reporter María Celeste Arrarás is one of the best-known figures in Spanish-speaking television.  The lead anchor of “Al Rojo Vivo con María Celeste,” one of the most acclaimed news magazines on Hispanic television, she has also served as guest anchor of “Noticias Telemundo” and NBC’s “Today Show,” and as a contributor to “Dateline” and “NBC Nightly News.”  She has appeared on the cover of People en Español more than 14 times and graced the front of Newsweek’s special issue on “Women and Leadership: The Next Generation.”  She has been profiled in numerous prestigious publications, among them The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post and The Miami Herald.

María Celeste began her television career as a local reporter for Puerto Rico’s Canal 24 in 1986.  She was hired by Telemundo’s New York affiliate and in 1994 went on to work for “Primer Impacto” on Univision, rejoining Telemundo as anchor of “Al Rojo Vivo” in 2002.

Her career is distinguished by a number of prestigious awards, including three Emmys™ and the Rubén Salazar Award for Excellence in Journalism.

About NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises:

NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises is a world-class media company leading the industry in the production and distribution of high-quality Spanish-language content to U.S. Hispanics and audiences around the world. This fast-growing multiplatform portfolio is comprised of the Telemundo Network and Station Group, Telemundo Deportes, Telemundo Global Studios, Universo, and a Digital Enterprises & Emerging Business unit. Telemundo Network features original Spanish-language entertainment, news and sports content reaching 94% of U.S. Hispanic TV households in 210 markets through 27 local stations, 51 affiliates and its national feed. Telemundo also owns WKAQ, a television station that serves viewers in Puerto Rico.

Telemundo Deportes is the designated Spanish-language home of two of the world’s most popular sporting events: FIFA World Cup™ through 2026 and the Summer Olympic Games through 2032. Telemundo Global Studios is the company’s domestic and international scripted production unit including Telemundo Studios, Telemundo International Studios, Telemundo International, as well as all of the company’s co-production partnerships.  As the #1 media company reaching Hispanics and millennials online, the Digital Enterprises & Emerging Business unit distributes original content across multiple platforms, maximizing its exclusive partnerships with properties such as BuzzFeed, Vox, and Snapchat. Through Telemundo Internacional, the largest U.S.-based distributor of Spanish-language content in the world; and Universo, the fastest growing Hispanic entertainment cable network, the company reflects the diverse lifestyle, cultural experience and language of its expanding audience. NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises is a division of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

Sell Yourself and Your Brand

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Creating a personal brand helps employers see your uniqueness

Why take the time to develop a personal brand? See how you can stand out to employers.

  • In a tough job market, you need to stand out. Besides helping you identify your personal strengths, having a brand can pull your resume to the top of the pile, make you shine in interviews, and leave your LinkedIn readers positively wowed.
  • Corporations take great care to develop a brand that defines their product. Brands help inspire trust and commitment in consumers; if you apply similar thinking to your personal brand, you can distinguish your value in a way that inspires an employer’s interest in you.
  • With so many marketing options, you need to be consistent. Use your brand in all your job search communications, including your cover letter, in interviews, and in thank-you notes. Your LinkedIn and other social media should clearly reflect you and your professional brand.
  • Most work is project based. Your brand is a shorthand description of what you bring to a team or to the table for projects.

So, are you ready to start thinking—or rethinking—your personal branding strategy?

Consider several of your best work experiences and how you contributed to them. What skill or characteristic is reflected in your best work stories? How did you use it? With what result? Ask yourself: “Why do people like to work with me or employ me?” What earns you compliments or accolades? What do people depend on you for?

Here are some examples to get you started:

  • Are you friendly and always the one to organize social events at work? Your brand could include “an inveterate team builder and initiator.”
  • Do you take unusual care to ensure details are thoroughly thought through and accurate? Your brand could be “willing to take on the precision that scares others away.”
  • You might be an outstanding supervisor who makes operations flow and brand yourself “a problem-solver who excels at developing talent.”

You can identify your signature characteristics yourself or work with a career coach or counselor to help you identify them. It’s a good idea to ask for some feedback on your ideas from a few trusted friends or colleagues before you go public with your brand to avoid a mismatch of how you see yourself and how you may come across to others.

Source: careeronestop.org

Casting Call Opportunity for Small Business Owners!

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Hispanic Business Owner

Vitamin Enriched, a real people casting company, is working with Chase to find small business owners who are Chase Ink customers. They are casting an exciting advertising campaign that will feature small business owners in their business locations.

They are specifically looking for businesses located in and around New York tri-state area, Los Angeles, Austin/Houston, Portland (Oregon), and New Orleans. The ideal businesses will have a brick and mortar or some other physical location. Those who are selected are paid $1,000 for a one day shoot at their business location.

Maybe you own a restaurant, are a farmer or an artisan. Maybe you’ve just opened a B&B, are an architect or design clothing. Whatever it is, they want to hear about how you are keeping your business successful and how you are using your Chase Ink card for your business.

Skype audition interviews: Late May – Auditions take about 20 minutes

Callback: Early June via video chat

Shoot: Shoot dates are taking place in July. If selected, it would be a one day shoot at your place of business.

For the complete details visit the website here

NOT A LALCC MEMBER YET?

About LALCC
Since 2009, the Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce (LALCC) has advocated for and promoted the economic development of Greater Los Angeles’ Latino-owned businesses, which now number more than 300,000. The chamber’s economic development services include procurement, access to capital, certification, technical and other business assistance. Among other issues, its policy and advocacy efforts are focused on public and private minority procurement, community reinvestment and development, Latino public policy, international trade and small business funding. LALCC is a 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization. For additional information about the chamber, visit lalcc.org.

CVS Health Fights Back on High Cost Drugs by Launching Industry’s Most Comprehensive Approach to Saving Patients Money

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New CVS Health initiative seeks to solve one of the nation’s most pressing problems and a major source of consumer financial worry.

Recognizing the threat of rising drug prices and high out-of-pocket costs, CVS Health providing most advanced solutions for prescribers, pharmacists and patients.

CVS Pharmacists are key resource for patients in identifying opportunities to maximize their prescription benefits and save money at the pharmacy counter in communities nationwide.

CVS Caremark mitigating impact of high drug costs by providing members and prescribers with robust information and innovative tools to choose lower-cost prescription drugs.

The high cost of prescription drugs is one of the nation’s most pressing problems and a major source of financial worry for consumers across the nation. While CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) has made significant progress in mitigating the impact of high list prices set by pharmaceutical manufacturers, for too many Americans annual out-of-pocket drug costs are still significant. In response, CVS Health announced today that it is fighting back by launching the most comprehensive program in the industry to help patients save money on their medications.

According to a recent national poll, commissioned by CVS Health, 83 percent of Americans said they were concerned personally about the impact of rising prescription drug prices.[1] As prescription drug prices continue to rise and enrollment in high deductible health plans grows, many patients are shouldering higher costs for their prescription medicine.

CVS Health will address this problem with a robust set of initiatives, including the new CVS Pharmacy Rx Savings Finder, which will enable the company’s retail pharmacists for the first time to evaluate quickly and seamlessly individual prescription savings opportunities right at the pharmacy counter. This new tool further enhances existing savings opportunities the company’s pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) CVS Caremark is currently offering its clients such as the preventive drug lists that make medications for many common, chronic conditions available at a $0 copay. In addition, CVS Caremark provides real-time, member-specific drug costs and lower-cost alternatives to prescribers through their electronic health record system and to CVS Caremark members through the member portal and newly updated app. These programs are part of CVS Health’s commitment to helping consumers find the lowest cost prescription drugs by offering more pricing transparency for prescribers, pharmacists and patients.

“Today’s consumers are faced with higher prescription drug prices than ever before and many of them are now paying for a larger share of their prescription drug costs out of their own pockets at the pharmacy counter due to growth in high deductible health plans,” said Thomas Moriarty, Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer, CVS Health. “Until now, patients haven’t had the appropriate tools available to them to help them manage these costs. To address this, CVS Health is giving expanded tools to patients, prescribers and pharmacists so they can evaluate prescription drug coverage in real-time and identify lower-cost alternatives. We are committed to finding the right drug at the lowest possible cost for patients to ensure they are able to access and stay on the medications they need. That’s our promise.”

At the Pharmacy Counter

The new CVS Pharmacy Rx Savings Finder enables the retail pharmacist to quickly and seamlessly review a patient’s prescription regimen, medication history and insurance plan information to determine the best way for them to save money on out-of-pocket costs – with the primary goal of helping the patient find the lowest cost alternative under their pharmacy benefits plan.

“Our direct experience is that patients who are confronted with high out-of-pocket costs at the pharmacy counter are less likely to pick up their prescriptions and are less likely to be adherent to their prescribed therapy,” said Kevin Hourican, Executive Vice President, Retail Pharmacy, CVS Pharmacy.

“Armed with the information available through our Rx Savings Finder, our more than 30,000 CVS pharmacists can play an important role by helping patients save money on their medications, providing advice on how and when to take them, and ultimately helping them achieve better health outcomes,” Hourican added. “We are beginning this process with our CVS Caremark PBM members and expect to roll it out more broadly throughout the year.”

The Rx Savings Finder will show pharmacy teams:

  1. First, if the prescribed medication is on the patient’s formulary and is the lowest cost option available.
  2. Second, if there are lower-cost options covered under the patient’s pharmacy benefit – such as a generic medication or therapeutic alternative with equivalent efficacy of treatment.
  3. Third, if the patient may be able to save money by filling a 90-day prescription rather than a 30-day prescription.
  4. Finally, if neither a generic nor a lower-cost alternative is available, other potential savings options for eligible or uninsured patients where allowed by applicable laws and regulation.[2]

Pharmacists can also help patients enroll in the ExtraCare Loyalty Program and sign them up for Pharmacy and Health Rewards. Through Pharmacy and Health Rewards, patients receive $5 in ExtraBucks for every 10 prescriptions filled, earning up to $50 in ExtraBucks annually.

At the Doctor’s Office

Another component of the company’s comprehensive savings approach is the recently launched real-time benefits program, which helps bring greater drug price transparency to prescribers and CVS Caremark members. At the point-of-prescribing, providers are able to see the member-specific cost for a selected drug, based on a member’s coverage, along with up to five lowest-cost, clinically appropriate therapeutic alternatives based on the patient’s formulary. PBM members have access to the same information on the CVS Caremark app and member portal. Early results show that prescribers accessing the real-time benefits information through their electronic health record switched their patient’s drug from a non-covered drug to a drug on formulary 85 percent of the time. In addition, when the patient’s drug is covered, prescribers using real-time benefits switch their patient to a lower-cost alternative 30 percent of the time. When the prescriber switched to a lower-cost drug, the difference was approximately $75 per prescription.
“We have been working hard to keep prescription medications affordable for patients,” said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. “In fact, in 2017, nearly 90 percent of our PBM plan members spent less than $300 out-of-pocket for their prescription medicines. While this signals progress, for those patients that cost is not insignificant. That is why we are committed to doing even more across our enterprise to help patients find and access the lowest cost drug at the pharmacy which ultimately will help improve clinical outcomes and remove higher downstream medical costs from the system.”

Using Pharmacy Benefit Management Solutions

CVS Health is also making a variety of PBM solutions available to help further drive down drug trend for its PBM clients and drug costs for the patients they support. The company’s Point of Sale (POS) rebate offering allows the value of negotiated rebates on branded drugs to be passed on directly to patients when they fill their prescriptions – and the savings from this program can be significant. In 2013, CVS Health led the industry with the introduction of POS rebates to clients, and today nearly 10 million members are covered by and able to benefit from the program.

In 2017, despite manufacturer brand list price increases on drugs near 10 percent, CVS Health PBM strategies reduced drug trend for CVS Caremark commercial clients to the lowest level in five years, keeping drug price growth at a minimal 0.2 percent. In fact, 42 percent of CVS Caremark commercial clients spent less on their pharmacy benefit plan in 2017 than they had in 2016. CVS Caremark helped members reduce monthly out-of-pocket costs and improve adherence to its highest level in seven years in key categories such as diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia.

Prescription drug trend is the measure of growth in prescription spending per member per month. Trend calculations take into account the effects of drug price, drug utilization and the mix of branded versus generic drugs as well as the positive effect of negotiated rebates on overall trend. The 2017 trend performance is based on a cohort of CVS Health PBM commercial clients, employers and health plans.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,800 retail locations, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 94 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, expanding specialty pharmacy services, and a leading stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, the company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

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[1] The Morning Consult poll was conducted from February 22-26, 2018, among a national sample of 1992 registered voters. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

[2] Prescriptions submitted for reimbursement to Medicare, Medicaid or other federal or state programs are not eligible..

Kern County native creates app meant to protect farmworkers from heat-related illness

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Farmworker’s days are long, their work is tedious and sometimes weather conditions turn the job into a dangerous one. 

“I heard their stories of swollen backs and how their feet would ache after work and just the kind of brutal conditions they worked in, especially back then”, said Faith Florez.

Florez grew up in Shafter, a small farming community in Kern County in a family that is all too familiar with working in the fields and the risks of the job.

“My grandma Estella, she picked roses, cotton, almonds, and then my poppa, her son went on to again pick roses cotton almonds and migrate between seasons between the fields,” she said.

So, the high school senior, who now lives in Los Angeles set out to make a change at farms throughout the central valley.

“I don’t want to hear about a farmworker that died because they were too far away from water and shade,” said Florez.

Flores created the Calor App, which will let farmers now when they could possibly be in danger.

“The application is ultimately designed to prevent instances of heat stroke amongst agricultural workers,” said Florez.

Calor, the Spanish word for heat, began with a simple idea for Florez.

“It definitely wasn’t an overnight thing,” she said.

Her idea, became more of a reality when she submitted it as a proposal to the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, where a group of graduate students unanimously hose to take on the project.

“I went into it super passionate,” Florez said.

Continue onto ABC News to read the complete article.

Lin-Manuel Miranda: ‘Bring all of yourself into a room’

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At Harvard, ‘Hamilton’ creator tells Latino students and leaders to make their voices heard

roadway theatergoers know that tickets to the musical “Hamilton” can cost more than a month’s rent, except for winners of the show’s $10 online lottery. But the hit’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, played to a different kind of packed house on Thursday night at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), speaking about Latino identity and activism.

Miranda, who is also the force behind “In the Heights,” kicked off the second “America Adelante” conference, hosted by the Center for Public Leadership. The conference drew together Latino students from across the University, as well as more than 40 Latino leaders in business, arts, and government. Through a series of panel discussions and networking events, the conference tried to foster connection and collaboration between the students and guests.

“I feel really underqualified to be here,” Miranda joked as he took the stage with Amanda Matos, M.P.P. ’19, an HKS student and co-founder of the WomanHOOD Project, a Bronx-based mentorship program for girls of color.

Since both Matos and Miranda are proud Nuyoricans — New Yorkers of Puerto Rican descent — Matos fired off a few home-based warm-up questions: Yankees or Mets? The A train or the 1? Once they’d covered the basics (Yankees and the A train), Miranda settled in for a more serious discussion on code-switching, activism, and staying true to one’s roots.

“I’m in a roomful of would-be Nina Rosarios right now,” Miranda said, referring to a character from “In the Heights” who leaves her neighborhood to attend Stanford University, becoming the first person from her block to attend college. Miranda shared some of his experiences of attending Hunter College and Wesleyan University, and gradually coming to see his dual cultural identity as “a superpower.”

Miranda began work on “In the Heights” as an undergraduate at Wesleyan, mixing the salsa and merengue beats of his heritage with the musical theater and freestyling hip-hop he also loves. The result, he said, was a realization that “you have to bring all of yourself into a room, not just the parts that fit in.” He cited the problematic stereotypes of knife-wielding Puerto Ricans from “West Side Story” and Paul Simon’s 1998 musical “The Capeman” as a wake-up call, adding, “I realized: No one’s making your dream musical. You have to make your dream musical.”

Matos asked Miranda how Latinos can create solidarity and stay connected to their heritage while building bridges with non-Latino allies and supporters. “Give us some best practices,” she urged.

Miranda’s response was simple. “I think continuing to support ourselves and our humanness is so important,” he said. “That’s what ‘Hamilton’ does: It represents the other strand of the American story that we export. It celebrates the one founder who wasn’t from here — who grew up in the Caribbean. We’re a nation of immigrants, and we ought to be proud of that story.”

“Latinos in the U.S. — both immigrant and native-born — are a group that has been growing in size and influence and will continue to grow,” said Erika Carlsen, the assistant director of fellowship programs and Latino initiatives at the Center for Public Leadership, who organized “America Adelante.” “How do future public leaders understand this community, and the challenges and incredible potential benefits related to it?” She cited the great economic power of Latinos, and the need to build networks among young and seasoned Latino leaders to address key policy issues.

Continue onto Harvard University’s Newsroom to read the complete article.

USA Today’s New Publisher Is Gannett Veteran Maribel Wadsworth

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USA Today has chosen one of its own to lead its highest ranks. Maribel Perez Wadsworth, a two-decade veteran of the company, will take the paper’s reins as its new publisher. Up until now, Wadsworth was president of the entire USA Today network, in addition to overseeing its content strategy. She’ll continue leading those efforts in her new role.

Wadsworth joins USA Today’s newly appointed editor-in-chief, Nicole Carroll, in a move that puts women in three of the company’s top leadership positions, including executive editor Patty Michalski. The new publisher says she plans to focus on expanding the outlet’s digital growth and doubling down on investigative and enterprise journalism. Wadsworth began her career as a beat reporter for the Rockford Register Star, a role she said is still very much part of her DNA. “Once a reporter, always a reporter,” she says.

Wadsworth’s background at the USA Today network included building digital products and helping the company’s innovation efforts. “We’ve grown our consumer revenues pretty significantly,” she says. She plans to continue that with her new role as publisher. USA Today, she says, has been experimenting with many different revenue models. It has a few audio projects–including serialized podcasts–on the horizon, as well other skirmishes in video, mobile, and membership.

EXPLORING NEW REVENUE MODELS

As I wrote a few months ago, membership and subscriptions have resurfaced as a promising revenue engine for the journalism business. Companies like the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times have shifted resources toward these offerings as a way to offset declines in advertising revenue. Wadsworth, too, is looking into this option. “We’re beginning to develop our plans for digital subscription models,” she tells me.

Many media companies have also been beleaguered by recent changes to Facebook’s algorithm, which have resulted in traffic declines. For Wadsworth, this predicament underscores a common strategic pitfall in which outlets come to rely too heavily on a single distribution channel. “We try very hard to not think or be driven by platforms specifically,” she says. “We want to make sure that what we’re doing is following our audience.

Another program Wadsworth finds promising is the ad-free option on USA Today’s app–as well as its push into franchised media programs. The newspaper’s video channel, Humankind, “has grown really nicely, to over a billion video video streams last year,” she says. Which is all to say that she believes that the national newspaper is building a stronger, less platform-dependent business model.

“We’re doing more and more experimentation,” she says.

Gannett, USA Today’s parent company, has been feeling squeezed by the pressures of the industry. Over the last few years, the company has reported sinking revenues as the print advertising market continues to plummet. “There’s no question that revenues overall have been under pressure over the last many years,” says Wadsworth. “At the same time,” she adds, “we’ve had a clear focus on revenue diversification.”

Read the complete article on Fast Company.

Spanglish is here to stay — and it’s good exercise for your brain

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young people talking

At the Lower East Side Preparatory High School in New York, it’s not unusual to hear different languages flowing in the classroom — in one sentence.

Mira, mira guey, I don’t understand la tarea,” — “Look buddy, I don’t understand the homework,” says one young boy to his classmate.

“Are you tarado?” — Are you dumb?, his friend shoots back, laughing.

This has been a part of America’s dialogue since the nation’s start — the mixing of two languages in a conversation, whether it be Spanglish (Spanish and English), Chinglish (often Mandarin and English) or another combination.

The use of Spanglish or other language combinations has been seen by many as a sign of laziness or poor language skills. In recent years, however, scholars have found there is sophisticated brain work behind code-switching, or CS, the linguistic term for switching between two languages in one conversation.

“There is widespread agreement that CS is patterned, i.e., not random,” said Almeida Jacqueline Toribio, of the University of Texas at Austin, who has been studying bilingualism since the early 1990s.

In fact, Toribio’s research shows that even those who are not completely bilingual or proficient in both languages still follow logical, grammatical rules when they code-switch.

Arturo E. Hernandez, a professor of psychology at the University of Houston and author of “The Bilingual Brain,” has found that what English-Spanish code-switchers do when they speak is similar to what people do when they multitask — for example, driving and talking on a cellphone at the same time.

“Everyone is born with this task-switching gene,” he said.

Perhaps this will pave the way for a different view of this common practice, though scholars like Toribio acknowledge that’s not how many see it.

“CS remains a stigmatized bilingual behavior, viewed as a failure on the part of speakers to ‘control’ their languages,” Toribio said. Some see it as a lack of competence or even poor manners, she added.

Among the millions of Americans who are bilingual and bicultural, there is a lively debate about switching languages.

Continue onto NBC News to read the complete article.

12 Surprising Interview Tips

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Interview Tips

You’re almost there. Your resume landed you an interview and now it’s time to seal the deal. So what’s the best way to prepare?

To find the answer, I looked back on my interviews, sifted through research, and most importantly, asked employees from today’s most coveted companies. I tried to find deep insights beyond the typical “sit up straight!” and “dress to impress!” tips we hear too much.

Below you’ll find the 12 best tips to help before, during and after your interview.

BEFORE

 1.    Research Earnings Calls, Quarterly Reports & Blog Posts

In today’s world, content is king. Goldman Sachs publishes quarterly reports, Microsoft records its earning calls, and every startup has a blog.

With so much out there, I’m baffled that few of us look past the company’s homepage. It’s like we’re writing an essay on The Odyssey without quoting a single passage from the book.

Example: If you’re interviewing with Google, here’s two ways to answer: “What’s Google’s biggest opportunity in the next 5 years?”

  • Weak: “I think wearable technology will be big because Google Glass and Apple Watch represent a new trend that shows…”
  • Strong: “Call me geeky, but I was listening to Google’s quarterly earnings call and was blown away by the fact that display advertising hit over $5 billion in the past few years. Therefore, I think that…”

Neither answer is wrong, but the latter says much more. It shows you’ve done your homework and give answers rooted in data.

2.   Use Google Alerts

Keeping up with company news is hard, especially if you’re interviewing with multiple places at once. That’s why Google Alerts is a savior; it’s a tool that emails you anytime a new story appears for a specific term. That way, you learn about current events without searching for them.

 Example: If you’re applying to Creative Artists Agency, follow these steps:

  1. Go to www.google.com/alerts
  2. Type in “Creative Artists Agency”
  3. Put in your email address if you’re not already logged in to Gmail

Soon enough, you’ll get updates on CAA and have more ammo for your interview.

3. Use Social Sweepster To Clean Your Facebook & Twitter

Nowadays, 91% of employers search your social media for any red flags. While most people tell you to watch every single thing you upload, there’s a much easier solution. Use Social Sweepster, an app that detects pictures of red solo cups, beer bottles, and other “suspicious” objects. It even detects profanity from your past posts! Now, that’s f%$king awesome!

“Too many recruiters reject candidate because of something they found on their social platforms” Social Sweepster CEO Tom McGrath says. “We help you create the first impression on your own terms.”

4. Schedule For Tuesday at 10:30 AM

According to Glassdoor, the best time to interview is 10:30 AM on Tuesday. Remember, your interviewer has a world of responsibilities beyond hiring. They’re responding to emails, balancing projects, and meeting tons of other candidates so it’s crucial to consider when they’ll be in the best mental state to meet you.

10:30 AM Tuesday is the sweet spot because you:

  • Avoid the bookends. On Mondays and Fridays, employees gear up for the week or wind down. By the same token, avoid the first or last slots of any workday.
  • Avoid lunchtime. Immediately before noon, your interviewer may be too hungry to concentrate; immediately after, they may be in a food coma.

But there’s a caveat. Research shows it’s best to take the earliest interview slot “in circumstances under which decisions must be made quickly or without much deliberation because preferences are unconsciously and immediately guided to those options presented first.”

Bottom line: if the firm is hiring for a job starting in a few months, try to interview late morning between Tuesday through Thursday. If the firm is hiring immediately, grab the earliest slot.

5. Craft Your “Story Statement”

 Though most interviews start with the same prompt (“tell me about yourself” or “walk me through your resume”), we blow it off with boring answers like:

I studied [major X] because I really care about making a difference in [industry Y] as you can see through my last job at [company Z]…

This answer is like tearing out the first 200 pages of your autobiography. You leave out everything that gives meaning to why you want this job in the first place. What was your moment of epiphany? How did your childhood influence you? Why does this job move you? Most people don’t answer these questions. They start and end with their professional experience, leaving little to inspire the interviewer.

Next time, use what I call a “Story Statement,” which is a Cliff Notes of your autobiography.

Example: Here’s an amazing Story Statement that Teach For America fellow Kareli Lizarraga used for her interviews.

“I grew up in California and Arizona after immigrating to the United States when I was four years old. Since neither of my parents went to college, I relied on my high school teachers to help me apply to top universities. With their support, I was able to attend the University of Pennsylvania. Then I spent a summer at a Washington DC law firm, which represented low-income students and helped me realize that my passion lay within creating educational opportunities for all.

I decided to become a teacher because I see myself so deeply reflected in the stories of so many students in your schools – and that’s why I’m so excited about the opportunity to interview with you today. Like my teachers did for me, I want to impact the next generation of students by supporting them and understanding the experiences they’re facing.”

A Story Statement shows that you’re a person, not just a professional.  It also makes it easy for your interviewer to predict the next chapter of your story. For Kareli, Teach For America is a logical next step. Of course, if she interviewed for Apple, she may change her Story Statement to include an early experience with her first computer and talk about how her passion for tech grew from there. For a Bain interview, she could mention how she started problem solving at a young age and now wants to do it on a big scale.

Chances are, we’ve all had experiences we can connect to where we’re trying to go. It’s just a matter of selecting the right ones to tell our story. That said, if you struggle to craft your Story Statement for a particular interview, you might be applying for the wrong job.

6. Wear a Subtle Fashion Statement

We already know dressing well makes a difference. But what if we took our attention to detail a step further? That’s exactly what Morgan Stanley analyst Julio German Arias Castillo did for his interviews.

“Wear something that represents your culture or background,” he says. “In my case, I always wear a pin of the Panamanian flag on my suit lapel. Most of my interviewers ask about it so it becomes a chance to discuss my upbringing and love of my homeland.”

Julio created a conversation starter with his clothing. Depending on the company, you can be more playful: wear a bracelet from your recent travels to India, a tie with a quirky pattern, or — if you can pull it off — a small mockingjay pin if you’re a Hunger Games fan. As long as it’s subtle and tasteful, your fashion statement can build rapport through fun conversations about your hometown or mutual love for Katniss Everdeen.

Continue on to Forbes.com to read tips 7-12 and more great career/business articles

Looking To Create More Content For Latinos, John Leguizamo Expands Media Company

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John Leguizamo

Most people know John Leguizamo as an actor and comedian. But for decades, the star of the recent Broadway one-man show Latin History For Morons has also focused on the business side of entertainment.

A vocal critic of the underrepresentation of Latinos in the entertainment industry, Leguizamo is a founding partner of NGL Media, a company that produces digital video content and marketing for bilingual and bicultural U.S. Latinos.

“The face of America has changed, and media and entertainment hasn’t kept up to reflect the growing number of Latinx and other multicultural faces that are driving growth in this country in so many ways,” says Leguizamo.

That’s why he and NGL Media founder and CEO David Chitel are doubling down on the audience they’ve been catering to since they launched the company in 2010. They are expanding their joint venture, which will now be called NGL Collective. As part of a restructuring, NGL Media and NGL Studios will be divisions of NGL Collective.

“It’s a step towards making the company an even bigger player in the Latino media, marketing and entertainment space,” says Chitel. “Currently we have three projects in the works, including a non-scripted TV show, a documentary and a soon to be announced project involving an iconic Latinx intellectual property.”

To help further their expansion goals, they hired advertising industry veteran and former Telemundo network executive Joe Bernard as Chief Revenue Officer of NGL Collective.

Chitel, who coined the term “New Generation Latino” (NGL), and has worked in the Latino media space with Leguizamo for 18 years, believes they can fill a void and address the needs of a long-neglected audience – in both Spanish and English.

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.