In the more than six years that I have worked in the cable industry – first as an intern and now as a Community Relations Coordinator for Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region – there have been many moments when I have been proud of my employer. But I have never been more proud to be a Comcaster than I was last night when I had the chance to participate in a workshop hosted at Northwestern Law School in downtown Chicago by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as part of their review of the NBC Universal joint venture. I was one of more than 60 individuals who had the opportunity to address the FCC staff during the open forum’s public comment period.
I started as an Emma Bowen Foundation Scholar in 2002. The Foundation, whose mission it is to support minority interests in media, prepares minority youth for careers in the media industry. In the program, students work for partner companies – such as Comcast – during summers and school breaks for five years starting before and continuing throughout college. During the program, students have exclusive opportunities to learn about company operations, network with industry leaders, and develop industry-specific skills. Because of Comcast’s tremendous support for the Emma Bowen program, I was able to have opportunities I would never have otherwise been exposed to due to my family’s humble background.
After completing college and my five years as an Emma Bowen intern, I knew right away I wanted to work for Comcast. I knew their reputation as an industry leader, a remarkable community partner, and a great place to work for young minority professionals. I was fortunate to be hired as a full-time employee. As an employee, I was thrilled to find that the company continued to afford me unlimited opportunities to develop my career and myself. Each day, I know that there are many leaders at the company who support me and my growth as a young Latina professional. I have been given substantial responsibilities in my role, such as leading the company’s United Way campaign for thousands of employees throughout our region, promoting the Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program in the community, and leading Comcast Cares Day volunteer sites at various locations. In fact, in April of this year, I had the opportunity to lead 150 volunteers in cleaning, landscaping and painting the Yancey Boys & Girls Club in Chicago – which was a great leadership experience.
At the workshop, I was heartened to hear about the impact our work had on the Yancey Boys & Girls Club when the Club’s Director, Joe McDaniel, stood up to talk about what a difference Comcast had made in the lives of the hundreds of young people they serve every day through our support of their programs and initiatives, as well as the volunteer hours we dedicated to the Club through Comcast Cares Day. And Joe wasn’t the only one. Literally, dozens of community partners, business organizations and elected officials – including Mayor Bennett from the City of Palos Hills, Brian Pollock from the League of United Latino American Citizens of Aurora, Dr. Robert Wharton from the Community & Economic Development Association of Cook County and Fran Bell from the YMCA Black and Latino Achievers – attested to the positive impact Comcast has had, whether we’re wiring their facilities to ensure broadband access, supporting jobs in their city or town, providing airtime to inform the public about the important work of community organizations, or investing in their organization to build a brighter future for troubled youth.
Comcast has made a huge impact on my life. Comcast is an exceptional employer that enables me to embark on any development opportunities I desire with their full support. But last night, I really saw firsthand the difference Comcast made not only in my life, but in so many others lives, too.