Find Your Voice to Make a Difference at Hispanicize 2017 – I’m a Tecla Award Finalist

Hispanicize is the place to be for Latino influencers, trendsetters, artists and marketers. I’ve been attending each year for the last five years. And this year is going to be one of the best experiences yet!

This week, I’m excited to reconnect to fellow influencers and brands like Toyota, as well as, to meet new influencers and brands like Cooper Tires. I love learning about new projects and products. I also look forward to the panels and workshops. Eliana Murillo, Head of Google Multicultural Marketing, will be presenting the Google  U.S. Hispanic Update. This data is always interesting and pertinent. I’m also exited to see Olympic Gold Medalist Laurie Hernandez and get inspired by her amazing story. Let’s not forget that JUANES will be opening Monday night with a special concert!

I’ll be moderating a panel on Tuesday called Finding Your Voice to Make a Difference. This panel will be a discussion for anyone who wants to use their online voice to make a difference in the causes that are important to them. It’s powerful to watch influencers grow and take action in their own communities through their blogs or social media channels.

Finally, I’ve been selected as a Tecla Award Finalist for The Jewel Award – Best Creator Doing Social Good. This nomination alone is special because it’s for my work to help students get accepted to the colleges of their choice. If you’ve me me, ready any of my blog, you know that I follow a few of my passions – education, entertainment, culture and family. However, education is where I spend a lot of time. My college education changed my life. So, when it came time to do something for others, I naturally hope to help the others in the same way. Last year, along with my co-founders, we created STEM to Vine. It’s a college prep nonprofit to support San Antonio students interested in studying in STEM fields and want attend an Ivy League University.  You can read a little bit about how our first summer camp went on stemtovine.org

My fellow Social Good Influencer finalists are Laurita Tellado for The Laurita Spina Bifida Project;
Denisse Montalvan for The Orphaned Earring; and Dania Peguero for Black Latina Negra Bella®. Queridos, I’m beyond honored to be in the company of these amazing ladies. The work they do is important for their respective communities. They are women whom I admire tremendously.

The award has been named after Jewel Figueras. We lost this amazing person to cancer last year. It’s hard to find the words to describe Jewel and how she moved people. She was a force, a leader, and a mentor. Last year at Hispanicize, I had the absolute pleasure of moderating a social good panel in which she was a part of. Jewel used her voice to advocate for cancer patients. When her insurance didn’t want to pay for medication she needed, Jewel rallied her community and through the power of social media she was able to get them to pay.

To honor her legacy, Hispanicize has partnered with Fund Latinos to create The Jewel Fund. This fund will be used to help ovarian cancer patients. Please consider making a donation here: http://fundlatinos.com/jewel

Knowing people like Jewel leaves an impression on your heart. It’s more important to me today to use my time and my voice wisely. I’ll do that on this blog and in my nonprofit. I hope you’ll follow along this week as I bring you updates from Miami. Together, we can help make a difference.

Melanie Mendez-Gonzales

Original content creator for ¿Qué Means What? Texas Latina mom blogger celebrating culture in education, entertainment and family life.

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1 Response

  1. EVA VARGAS says:

    Congratulations on your nomination!!! Good luck! Melanie…. I was wondering if you have any links to student scholarships that my daughter could apply for?

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