#SpotlightTuesday Colombian journalist Laura Gomez makes her culture proud, one story at a time.

Laura M. Gómez was born in Medellin, Colombia but her family emigrated to the United States when she was a year old. They lived in New York for a while then back to Columbia for several years. When they finally came back to the states, Laura’s family settled in Houston, Texas. She graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and Hispanic studies.

In her career, the talented Latina journalist has covered major sports teams as well as sporting events including the Dynamo, Texans, Astros, Rockets, Aero’s, and Copa America Centenario 2016, among others. Most recently, she got to experience her hometown team win baseball’s World Series.

Laura is also the co-founder of 90 Seconds Media, a bilingual communications consulting firm.

Raised in Houston, Laura believes in empowering her community with true facts stories, and she is a strong women’s rights advocate. A true Colombian, Laura enjoys good coffee and loves anything chocolate.

MB: Were you raised #bilingual and #bicultural?

LG: My first language is Spanish and at home, we were told to speak Spanish. It was important for my mother that we were able to communicate with our family back in Colombia. Also, we are a big sports family and most of the sports besides soccer are in English so I would say I was raised bilingual. Bicultural? Absolutely! Not only bicultural, more like multicultural. I have so many friends from different countries that have influenced me, which is one of the reasons I love Houston. I can go from dancing salsa to dancing to two-stepping, from listening to vallenatos (Colombia folklore music) to rap. I love me some Colombian empanadas and won’t turn down a taco!

MB: Did you always know you wanted a career in broadcast journalism?

LG: When I was younger I use to think I would be a doctor or a lawyer, but one day my mom just suggested I be a journalist because I was good at asking questions and I loved to write. She still insists that I should go to law school because I do keep up with current issues and human rights, a topic dear to my heart. I have a true passion for people knowing the truth whether it is about sports or about their rights.

MB: In your career, you have covered many news stories but your favorite has been covering sports? Why? 

LG: I have been blessed to cover so many wonderful events, but sports have and will always hold a special place in my heart. It has been a way my family has bonded. We all enjoy sports! And it has always been a great opportunity to gather family and friends. I have had the opportunity to be behind the scenes, and it just makes me fall in love even more with sports, because you really get to know the players, coaches and an organization’s true essence.

MB: One favorite sports news story that comes to mind?

LG: There are so many, from international games, championship games, but some of the best stories have been local athletes or local sports celebrities. One of my favorites is a story of two local Salvadorian sisters that box and the gym they train at is considered legendary, plus it was the first gym in Houston to train women in boxing. By boxing, these two sisters have been able to stay out of trouble, have good grades and learn English. So being involved with sports can change lives.

MB: You are the co-founder of 90 Seconds Media -tell us about it.  

LG: 90Seconds Media is an audiovisual and multimedia content producer that allows you to effectively reach potential customers in an innovative and modern way. We create commercials, promos, and animated logos to biographies.

We also have several workshops that teach how to improve and to have greater success when using social networks. We want to reach out to the small entrepreneurs who are starting in the business world, those who have a dream of starting their own company or those who like to be on social media and want to keep up with all the new services. There are also special segments that are like informative interviews. Our newest one is called SelfieEdu, in which we have different people talk to students or people who want to know about a specific career.

MB: Is it a local Houston company only or do you have national clients?

LG: Right now we are based in Houston, but the idea is to eventually go national and why not international! We have done some work for international companies based in the U.S and Colombia.

MB: A favorite commercial produced by 90 Seconds Media that you are most proud of?

LG: It has been such a learning curve, not only learning to edit in new ways, but how to present your services, and the business aspect is not a thing you can learn in a day. I do a lot of self-critiquing, but I am proud of most of my 90Seconds Media work. They are like my babies!

MB: How does being bilingual and multicultural benefit your work?

LG: I am open to so many different ways of thinking, numerous cultures, which have allowed me to have different perspectives on different situations. It has taught me that not all things are white and black.

I understand different worlds, and I can be a bridge between people trying to understand each other to create a more co-existing and peaceful place. It a plus when trying to cover in-depth stories because I know where to find the truth.

MB: Your favorite Latino or Latina author?

LG: One of my favorites is Mexican author Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. She was so ahead of her time, she educated herself by reading books her grandfather had, she fought for women’s’ rights and against misogyny in the 1600’s! She truly was a fascinating and smart woman. I also admire Isabel Allende, as well as of Paulo Coelho.

 

MB: Do you have a message for young Latinas that want to pursue a career in broadcast journalism?

LG: Oh, a man so much advice. It is a very hard field to be in and there is a lot of competition, and unfortunately sometimes being the best won’t be enough. There is true to the saying, “it will be who you know, not what you know.” Yet, there’s a saying I like to say, “what is to be yours will be yours” and I truly believe in that. Never stop learning! There are so many things out there. Don’t limit yourself and do something you are scared of so you won’t be scared of it anymore. I love to be in front of a camera giving information, but don’t tell me to host a party, because I will freak out! So I talk to myself in the mirror and practice and I make myself go out there.

 

 

A true journalist that puts her culture first? Laura M. Gomez is one to follow!

 

Bai, Bai for now,

 

Maritere

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