Sue Connects with Students to Share Her Story
As an immigrant woman, Sue did not let the social barriers she faced stop her from achieving her goals. And today, her determination is an inspiration for a younger generation of women to bravely pursue their dreams.
Sue’s path began with two cultures colliding. Just before she was born, her family moved from Italy to Argentina. As a child, she remembers being fully immersed in both cultures; “I was living in two worlds growing up,” she explained.
Growing up in a multicultural environment led to Sue’s interest in communication. She attended a university in Buenos Aires to earn a bachelor’s degree in PR and Media. She was a bright, determined student and received a scholarship for post-graduate work at New York University.
Sue was the first member of her family to move to the United States—and she did so with just $80 in her pocket. At NYU, she made connections with people from all over the world. She loved her diverse and vibrant life in New York City, but being an immigrant was challenging on many levels.
“It was hard; America is like a land of giants,” Sue said. “You can be prepared professionally and have all the right qualifications; however, you must also learn how to integrate because the way of working and living is completely different than what you are used to.”
Sue began her media career at the Associated Press, where she worked on content for 6 PM News, the most recognized local news outlet for the Spanish-speaking community in New York. She was a woman working in a male-dominated field but was promoted to the Assignment Desk in less than three years. She worked late nights and early mornings preparing journalists for the stories they would tackle each day.
Sue’s dedication paid off, and she continued challenging expectations and pushing through social barriers. She earned many promotions, becoming the only female Producer for Univision, a national TV Network, and the Director of Operations of the Televista broadcast network. Sue became the first woman from “the West” to become a media advisor in Baku, Azerbaijan.
“The sky is the limit. It doesn’t matter if it hasn’t been done before. It doesn’t matter if a woman has never done it before. Don’t be afraid to take chances,” she said.
And at age 81, she has not stopped pushing her boundaries and learning new things. In fact, for Sue, the sky is no longer the limit. She’s become an active member of the National Space Society, an international non-profit that works to further space exploration, education, and development.
When we asked Sue about her wish, her reply left us humbled. Sue’s wish was to share her experiences as an immigrant, woman, and media professional with the younger generation.
We were honored to grant Sue’s wish and recognize the incredible person she is today. We arranged for Sue to attend a chapter meeting of the R.I.S.E. (Reach, Inspire, Succeed, and Empower) Network at St. John’s University in Queens, NY. The group is part of the university’s efforts to create an environment where Black and Latinx students can help each other succeed.
After many years behind the scenes of news stories, Sue was now the center of attention. She shared the obstacles she faced as an immigrant and the stereotypes and barriers she overcame in a male-dominated profession. And Sue expressed the courage and tenacity it took to break barriers and reach her dreams.
But, true to her spirit, for as much as she shared about herself, she also engaged the students in meaningful conversations about their own experiences. She created a space where they could all learn from each other.
The room was full of smiles and laughter. Many students asked questions and shared their ideas. Some even requested Sue’s email address to keep in touch!
After her wish, Sue said that connecting with this group was a wonderful opportunity. She especially enjoyed her one-on-one conversations with students about their hopes and dreams for the future.
“The more we speak between generations, the better it is for all of us,” she shared. And we couldn’t agree more!
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