Lucinda Martinez Returns Home

By Camille Shields, Class of 2018

On November 13, 2017, High School for Media and Communications was visited by former alumni of the George Washington High School, Lucinda Martinez.

Lucinda Martinez is a senior vice president of the multicultural and international marketing of HBO. At HBO she’s responsible for expanding diversity for HBO audiences. After Martinez graduated from George Washington High School she went to Columbia University to study marketing. In her spare time, Martinez serves on the board of American Heart Association ( AHA ), Council of Urban Professionals and serves on the Hispanic Scholarship Fund ( HSF ).

Forty students of the High School for Media and Communications were able to hear Martinez journey from High School to present, as Manhattan Deputy Borough President, Aldrin Bonilla was the interviewer.

Martinez recalled having a 97.0 average in high school. She stressed to students on how important education is. While she expressed her love for books. “ Sometimes you have to get lost in a book when your world is going crazy.”

Martinez reassured students that life is not going to be an easy ride as she shared her own obstacles with students. Martinez reflected on her past on how she overcame her heart condition, her brother’s death, and her mother’s cancer. However, she expressed that overcoming these challenges helped her value life more. In addition, she encouraged students to never give up in tough situations using herself as an example. As she overcame her difficulties, she became a successful Latina woman.

Martinez also advised students not to be in relationships that are not beneficial to them. She stressed the importance of dating someone who is on your level, academically. “Don’t make out with someone who can’t solve your math homework.”

As the event came to an end, Martinez expressed how much she enjoyed visiting the school for the first time in 25+ years. Martinez also took the time to get to know every child’s name and aspirations.

Media Students expressed on how relatable she was by understanding students hassle of not being able to have their phones in school. Shanita Baker an 11th grader, expressed on how she was “relatable” through “racial background, work ethic in school, educational and career aspirations.”

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Sandra Cisneros Inspires Students With Her Stories

Photographs by Brandon Nixon, Class of 2018

Sandra Cisneros, a Mexican-American writer mostly known for her book The House On Mango Street, that is filled with vignettes of fiction visited the Media family to discuss her work on The House On Mango Street. Cisneros covered a lot of topics in the event. She talked about things that inspired her to write the stories, how long it took and the advantages and disadvantages of writing her book. Cisneros opened the reading by reading one of her favorite chapters “The Family of Little Feet.” She explained that this is her favorite because one of her previous students realized how small her feet were which led her to realize that her entire family had little feet. Cisneros then went on to explain how she found her inspiration to write her book when she was a teacher, her students inspired her. She told the audience that when she was a counselor, her students used to tell her their struggles and that inspired her to write stories based on those situations.Screen Shot 2018-03-28 at 5.03.35 PM.png Cisneros explained to the audience that writing The House On Mango Street took time, she needed time to figure out how to write it in which it will give justice to the stories and her students. Cisneros explained to the audience that the students she had were going through many issues such as pregnancy, gang problems, and transportation but these issues were simply overlooked because these students are Black or Hispanic. The House On Mango Street took Cisneros about twenty years to write. The event then went on to students asking Cisneros questions about her book and in general. Cisneros answered questions such as: How did you find your inspiration?, How long did it take to write the entire book and what advice she would give to future writers and artists. Cisneros even replied to questions that were about her personal life. She didn’t have an issue with being open to our students about her life and the book; she talked about her love life, kids and family life in general. As the event was ending, Elaine Baez, a Media student, presented Cisneros with a painting for her warm visit and to thank her. The event closed with 30 Media students getting their 25th edition of The House On Mango Street signed by Sandra Cisneros.