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“It’s been three of the most rewarding years of my professional career,” says Natalie Martinez of her time spent on the NAHJ Chicago board.


Martinez is taking a temporary break to focus on the birth of her daughter who is due this June.

Martinez came on board as Vice President in 2015.  Two years ago, she was voted in as president, helping to raise an unprecedented $6,000 plus in scholarships for journalism students.


“As a chapter leader, handing out those scholarships…you can’t beat that feeling of accomplishment in helping others.” says Martinez.


Through her leadership, the chapter continues to have an annual Nuevo Comienzo Fundraiser, Job Fair and other workshops and panels throughout the year.

The NBC 5 reporter and mom-to-be juggles leading the chapter, all while supporting other organizations with dozens of speaking engagements each year.


“Natalie is an amazing leader with an energy and drive that keeps the board going,” says Blanca Rios, NAHJ Region 6 Director.


The Chicago chapter was re-instated 5 years ago but Martinez has been a member for nearly 20 years and credits NAHJ with getting her to Chicago.

She says her message to young journalists trying to survive is to “be relentless in your search for answers and in your pursuit of truth.”