Category Archives: Inspirational

Good tips on what you can take away from the James Comey hearing

Comey_CSpan_500jpg

Screenshot: C-SPAN3

My father taught me at an early age to write down everything: the good, bad and ugly. As I watched James Comey testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I realized the former FBI director was teaching us the importance of documentation on the job. Good notes can never hurt. These are tips I share with everyone I mentor:

  • Keep notes when a manager pulls you in the office for “a talk”. Take notes during the meeting or immediately afterwards. Write down what you talked about, who was present, date and time.
  • Good documentation should include a follow-up email to the manager “Review what we talked about today.” Always follow up with an email.
  • Keep detailed notes on any observation you make at work especially if does not seem right or a coworker is the target: Date, time, witnesses etc.
  • Documentation will come in handy for your annual evaluation. Some managers tend to forget the good but over emphasize the bad.

The rest of the tips at LinkedIn: Take Away 

A fallen soldier comes home and the emotional moment his wife put her hand on his coffin

Lisa West Williams was on a flight home with Shawn Thomas. Passengers were asked to wait as the Green Beret’s flag-draped coffin was taken out of the airplane at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Williams caught the rest on video including Thomas’ widow in an emotional moment.

Williams posted the video on her Facebook page “It was an honor to fly home with this PATRIOT! God bless his wife and family. There was not a dry eye around me.”

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F100002017935173%2Fvideos%2F1203335663077020%2F&show_text=1&width=560

Thank you to all the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom, and their families too. You can’t help but cry for this woman and her family.

More on Shawn Thomas death and service to country at Yahoo News.a

Grieving Army Widow Meets Her Husband’s Coffin on Airport Tarmac, Leaving Plane Passengers in Tears 

Gwen Ifill taught me not to be afraid to ask the tough questions

 

I am shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of Gwen Ifill.

As a well-respected journalist, Gwen broke barriers for many women of color including myself.

The picture I share is one of the highlights during my time as a student at Walter Cronkite School in Arizona State University.

guzman_ifill

This was in 2013. Gwen was a guest speaker at a school event.

Her topic was on diversity and inclusion in the news. Here’s the event video from that day.

 

Gwen Ifill: “Diversity and Inclusion in the News” from Cronkite School on Vimeo.

 

Before her appearance, Gwen wanted to meet with groups such as the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) and the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). When I heard she was coming, I knew I had to attend.

During the meeting, she answered our questions, talked about her journey, gave us some great tips and about having more diversity in the newsroom.

Gwen was a class act. She was kind enough to take photos with everyone that day. She took her time to talk to all of us about any questions we had.

To me, she was one of the nicest people I have ever met.

LESSONS FROM GWEN

As a woman of color, Gwen taught me not be afraid to ask the tough questions. She was also not afraid to be her unapologetic self in the society where women, especially Black and Latina women, are undermined and ignored in their contributions .

Even with her success, I loved how she was still humble and down to earth. She never forgot her New York roots.

While she may no longer be with us, her spirit lives on through our interventions in creating more stories about us in a medium that still undermines our contributions in journalism.

Stephanie Guzman is a  digital producer at KMTV, the CBS affiliate in Omaha, NE. She’s also a 2015 graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Communications at Arizona State University, and a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. 

10 Goals to Keep it Simple in 2016

By now most people have a long list of resolutions for 2016. My advice is to keep your resolutions or goals simple and doable.

Here is my short list.

 

RA_2016List

Be Merry at the U.S. Post office

postoffice2015

The post office has been my second home for the past few weeks. I’m busy sending out Christmas gifts to friends and family. Twice during my visits, I have witnessed people burst through the post office doors, looking at the long line of customers and start verbally abusing the postal clerks.

Stop it!

Stop blaming the post office clerks for the lack of workers at the counter and for the long line of customers. Can we say budget cuts? And have these idiots forgotten that the internet and lack of business has forced the U.S. Postal Service to tighten its budget and that means having fewer workers dealing with customers at the post office.

Here’s my recommendation. The next time you go to the post office and you get to the counter, smile and ask the clerk how they are doing, and say “thank you” before you leave. They are hard workers who deserve our respect.

Happy Holidays!

I am my father’s daughter; what I learned from a true leader

Photo courtesy: UAW

Photo courtesy: UAW

I was thinking about my dad today and how proud he would be that I stand up for what I believe is right, and when I feel people are being wronged. My father, Alfredo Aguilar was an immigrant from Mexico, raised a family of five kids, and became a union organizer, migrant rights activist, and civil rights leader. He also had the first Spanish-language radio program “Fiesta Latina” in northwest Ohio. Yes, a super multi-tasker.

I often heard him in his broken English defending the little guy or gal. Whether he was addressing a room of 3,000 union members or defending a group of migrant workers, my father knew how to lead by inspiration. He was always looking out for the worker not getting fair pay, the person of color being discriminated, and even women who were not getting equal opportunities. Most of the time he was the only voice, unafraid to use it when it was not the popular thing to do. And let me say he made an impact.

When he died in 1981, his funeral was packed with people, and they didn’t stop coming for two days. Everyone had a story about how he made a difference. I think he would be very proud of me today…unafraid, a voice for the people.

RIP Papi.

Feel free to share and inspire another leader in the making.

Re-evaluate your life, get your priorities right, and be a good person

Fellowship Dallas

Fellowship Dallas

I got my dose of inspiration today. My pastor says re-evaluate your life and get your priorities right. Be a good person.
My thoughts… don’t get caught up in status, money, selfies and even how many followers you have on social media.

Get out of your ego.

Be a person who helps those who are in pain or suffering. Look for those in need of support especially when others have turned their backs on them.

Have courage to stand up for what you feel is wrong even when it’s not the popular thing to do.

Volunteer your time to help organizations help other people. Never say “no” to those who turn to you for advice or ask for mentoring. Always make time for people who need your help. Even 10 minutes of your time can give someone hope.

I was recently at a journalism conference and kept hearing “You look so happy.” It’s true and that’s because I believe in God. That simple. He gave me talent and a fearless heart. I am a success today because of him. He has surrounded me with the right people too.

Remember today you are here… tomorrow God may say “Time to come home.”

You can make a difference. Your life counts.
Please share. Have a great week !

Until next time,

Rebecca

5-year-old Sophie Cruz, child of undocumented immigrants tells Pope Francis “I have the right to be happy”

Sophie Cruz Screenshot: Univision

Sophie Cruz
Screenshot: Univision

When Pope Francis heads back to the Vatican, he will leave with a hand-written letter from five-year-old Sophie Cruz. The daughter of undocumented immigrants was able to break through security Wednesday to get to the Pope during his visit to Washington D.C.

Sophie and her family had traveled with an immigration advocacy group from California to see Pope Francis. The Mexican-American girl had a mission to let Pope Francis know she lives in fear as the child of undocumented workers.

Sophie had a brief face-to-face meeting with the Pope and before she left him she handed him a yellow t-shirt with a letter. She later told  Univision in Spanish about what she wrote in the letter. Here’s a translation:

 

 

 

 

My name is Sophie Cruz. I am 5-years-old. I am an American citizen with Mexican roots. I live in Los Angeles, California in the heart of the culture. My parents are from Ixtepec, Oaxaca, Mexico.

Pope Francis I want to tell you that my heart is very sad because I am afraid that one day ICE will deport my parents. I have the right to live with my parents. I have the right to be happy.

My father works very hard in a factory. All immigrants like my father help this country, they deserve to live with dignity. They deserve to be respected. They deserve immigration reform. They deserve this in my country.

They have earned it and have worked very hard picking oranges, onions, watermelons, melons, spinach, lettuce and many other vegetables.

Don’t forget about us children, especially those who suffer because they don’t have their parents, because of the war, violence and hunger.

 

According to the Pew Research Center: In 2012, there were 4 million unauthorized immigrant adults living with their U.S.-born children.

 

Sophie put her home address on the letter she handed to Pope Francis. Here’s hoping he writes her back.

 

Young girl breaks through security to get closer to Pope Francis, and she gives him a message about all immigrant children

Screenshot: Telemundo

Screenshot: Telemundo

As I was watching live news coverage of Pope Francis’ visit in Washington D.C., a little girl caught my attention.

Today the world will be talking about this girl, daughter of immigrants and how she was able to see Pope Francis face-to-face.

A man named Raul told Telemundo he was an immigrant and the father of the little girl named “Sophie.” He said he and his family were hoping to get a glimpse of Pope Francis as he passed by them on a Washington D.C. street lined with thousands of people.

Raul’s daughter broke through heavy security in excitement as the Pope mobile got closer. Secret Service and the Pope’s security tried to get Sophie back behind the barricades, but she kept trying to get the Pope’s attention as his vehicle drove by.

Pope Francis saw Sophie and waved security to bring her to him. Security quickly rushed the girl to the Pope and he gave her a soft hug and kiss on the head. Sophie wrapped her little arm around his neck. Then as security placed her back on the ground on her feet, the little girl quickly turn back to the pope and handed him a letter and yellow t-shirt.

Screenshot: Telemundo

Screenshot: Telemundo

Her father told Telemundo that the letter was asking Pope Francis to help all immigrant children in the world. He said that immigrants in the U.S. need protection from violence, racism and especially against people who have hate for immigrants. Sophie’s father told Telemundo that he is an immigrant who goes out to work everyday, and works hard to provide for his family.

One tenacious little girl has touched the heart of Pope Francis and has spoken for immigrant families struggling today in the U.S.

Sophie has made a difference.

Here’s a short Instagram video of the girl’s father talking to Telemundo right after the special moment between the Pope and Sophie. (Video)

I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about Sophie and her family for days to come.

Update:  According to CBS News, the little girl is 5-year-old Sophie Cruz. She’s from South Gate, California.

Mailman makes wish come true for Utah boy who could not afford books

Books are piling up in the home of Matthew Flores in Sandy, Utah. Thanks to his mailman and the help of strangers around the world, Matthew is getting all kinds of books.

At an age when most kids are hooked on their video games and smartphones, all this 12-year-old loves to do is read. He loves to read anything he can get his hands on including junk mail.

Matthew met his mailman Ron Lynch last week. He told Lynch he couldn’t afford to buy books or get a bus pass to go the local library. Lynch decided to post Matthew’s story on Facebook and his plea for help went viral.

Screenshot: Facebook

Screenshot: Facebook

 

The young boy’s story not only spread on social media, but it also got the attention of local TV station. Here is a story by Local 12 News in Salt Lake City.

 

 

It is Christmas in July for young Matthew Flores. But a big thanks goes to Ron Lynch who took the time to stop during his busy day to listen to a little boy in need.  Here’s is one of Lynch’s latest Facebook updates.

 

Screenshot: Facebook

If you’d like to send Matthew some books, please send them to:

Matthew Flores, ℅ Sandy Post Office, 8850 S 700 e, Sandy, UT 84070