Education is the key to unlocking countless opportunities and achieving personal and professional success. However, only some have equal access to quality education, which can hinder their chances of reaching their full potential. Recognizing this disparity, the Hortencia Zavala Foundation (HZF) was established to empower students and provide them with the necessary resources to overcome educational barriers.
Since its inception in 2017, HZF, a nonprofit organization, has worked with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) and its local professional chapters to identify worthy candidates for scholarship awards. In 2023, Ignacio Dominguez-Coronado, a student at California Baptist University, became the twelfth student to receive the award.
In 2021, the Hortencia Zavala Foundation expanded its support of young journalists to include a 12-week journalism camp. Covering race, ethnicity, and culture: a guideline for fair and accurate storytelling, led by Hugo Balta, twice president of the NAHJ and Publisher of the Latino News Network (LNN), is designed to go beyond the inverted pyramid of basic news writing in examining the terminology, usage, and word choice of stories providing greater visibility and understanding of deep-rooted inequities in all aspects of society.
“Every conversation was insightful and provided different perspectives,” said Daniela Sandoval (an aspiring journalist from Southern California and one of the six Fellows participating in the 2021 camp). “I always looked forward to our meetings and lectures, and I always left every meeting feeling inspired and energized.”
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Next year, HZF will sponsor a paid internship with one of the LNN’s seven affiliates. An internship is a golden opportunity for students interested in journalism and media, offering a unique and valuable experience that can shape their future careers and open doors to endless possibilities. “Working with the Latino News Network will provide students real-world experience in news reporting, writing, editing, and multimedia production,” said Balta. “They will have the chance to contribute to creating impactful stories, honing their storytelling abilities, and enhancing their journalistic skills.”
Named after Balta’s late maternal grandmother, the Hortencia Zavala Foundation advocates for equal educational and training opportunities, working tirelessly to bridge the gap and level the playing field for these deserving individuals.