NAHJ Chicago 2020 Board
The results are in. The NAHJ Chicago chapter has elected its new board for 2020. This year, all the nominees who stepped up ran uncontested.
The newest addition to the board is Marissa Parra, a reporter at CBS 2 Chicago. Parra will serve as Secretary. Carly Luque, an Assignment Desk Editor at CBS 2 Chicago, will once again lead the board as president for another term. Diana Gutierrez of WCIU The Jam is continuing her role as Vice President. Paulina Wysocka, an on-air KISS-FM personality is once again Treasurer and Laura Rodriguez Presa, reporter for the Chicago Tribune, is holding on to her position as Social Media Coordinator.
Here’s a look at each board member’s vision for the year:
Carly Luque, President
I first got involved with NAHJ in 2015. During that time, I was instrumental in organizing and executing WBBM-TV’s involvement with the NAHJ Job Fair. During my term as Vice President of NAHJ Chicago, I chaired both the Job Fair and Scholarship Committees. During the 2016-2017 year, the chapter raised enough money to give three students $2,000 journalism scholarships and one student a $500 multimedia scholarship. The following year, the chapter awarded three $2,000 scholarships. As president of the chapter, the scholarship fundraiser has grown each year. This year raising enough to award three students $4,000!
Chicago has become a NAHJ model chapter with my guidance. The chapter partnership with NABJ has executed a successful joint job fair since 2018. I have also met with university students and chapters, encouraging them to apply for scholarships and follow their dreams of becoming journalists. My focus is to gain more chapter members and continue to organize events to keep Latinos connected with current and future journalists.
Diana Gutierrez, Vice President
The NAHJ Chicago Chapter is unique. While it offers resources to upcoming and current journalists, it serves as moral support. Personally, NAHJ-Chi has helped develop my character as a journalist and my outlook on what my career journey has been thus far. Surrounded by Latinx colleagues who work to tell the unbiased truth, amplify the voices of our communities and shed light on tough issues encouraged me to work harder and do better.
Because of this impact, I decided to start a Latinx journalist organization at DePaul University. At the time, students didn’t have something of the like. The organization has had such a positive impact on campus and that made me realize that I want to continue bringing change forward.
As Vice President, I hope to not only serve as an asset for those who are aspiring journalists, but also uphold the vision of having more Latinos in news. My goal is to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to access and explore the resources NAHJ has to offer in order to be successful.
Paulina Wysocka, Treasurer
I’m an on-air personality for 103.5 KISSFM / iHeartRadio in Chicago. I’m also a mental health advocate and founder of the Get Yo Mind Right mental health initiative. I am the daughter of a Polish immigrant, and the daughter of a Mexican/Ecuadorian immigrant. Applyfing Latinx voices is important to me, as is sharing stories from within our communities. Our culture is so rich and strong in Chicago, and we must continue to pave the way for the next generation of Latinx talent-behind the mic AND in the newsroom.
Becoming a part of NAHJ was very important to me for many reasons. I want to help pave the way for the next generation and NAHJ does just that. Our stories deserve to be told by us, and we must make sure they do. My goal is to gain more chapter members and help connect one another to future opportunities. Let’s all put each other in a position to win.
Marissa Para, Secretary
Hey NAHJ! I’m a reporter with CBS Chicago and I’d love to be a part of helping NAHJ grow. Among the many things this pandemic is teaching me it’s the importance of giving back — and that can take on a lot of forms. I am the daughter of a Bolivian immigrant and the granddaughter of a Bolivian potato farmer who became a doctor in America. Their stories growing up shaped who I am as a person and a journalist today. As I grow older I feel more compelled to help budding Latino journalists rise up like others did for me. We are more stressed than ever, but our voices are needed more than ever too. I think creating virtual spaces for us to safely “meet up” and coordinate ways to support each other to get more Latino stories heard in our newsrooms would be something I, and perhaps the rest of you, could really use.
Laura Rodriguez Presa
I’m a bilingual journalist for the Chicago Tribune covering the Latino community, its beauty, struggles and successes. My goal is to lift the voice of our community through stories that portray the essence of the immigrant community; stories that show the humility, but also the resilience of Latinos. We are complex and rapidly growing in this country. That is why I’ve been a part of NAHJ Chicago since I was a budding journalist at DePaul University. I believe in the need to nurture and encourage each other to foster a clear path so that more Latinos can go inside the newsrooms that shape the narrative of our community. While we all have different roles in the industry, it is important to embrace those differences to be able to empower each other. We need to support each other and push each other to not only reporter positions, but to become editors, managers, and leaders in the industry. Latinos, after all, a part of the American fabric.