Ailys Toledo/Staff Writer
The School of Journalism and Mass Communication recently hosted a ceremony to acknowledge the induction of a new education initiative founded by Pamela Silva Conde, a graduate and co-anchor of Univision’s Primer Impacto, a Spanish-language news program on Univision.
On Oct. 16, Conde made her return to campus to speak about the Pamela Silva Conde Scholarship that she created. Conde, who graduated with a bachelors in journalism, was recognized as alumni of the year by the school and remains an active figure within SJMC.
“It’s almost going to be 14 years since my freshman year. I was probably one of the few freshmen that had declared my major. I always knew what I wanted to do, even before the first day of class,” said Conde.
Her driven nature and charisma made her stand out among the rest of the students. Allan Richards, SJMC associate dean and one of the many professors who attended the event in support, recalled fondly of Conde, who was a student in his writing strategies course.
“I remember her as a student and there was never a doubt in my mind that this was a person who was on a mission,” Richards said. “I had a sense that she would succeed. It’s wonderful that she is humble and gracious enough to give back to the school that helped her.”
Alina Mayo Azze, news presenter for Noticias 23, said the University gave Conde the tools she needed to be successful at Univision.
“It is where the root of this wonderful talent for Univision and as a human being got her start,” Azze said.
According to Conde, creating the scholarship was important to her because of her own experiences as a college student. “I’ve been thinking about wanting to do this for about four years now, so we made an initial five-year commitment. We tailored it to the needs of those I thought would impact the most: first generation college graduates,” said Conde.
Conde was no stranger to the economic hardships that come along with being a college student. After immigrating to the United States at age 10 from Peru, Conde and her mother dealt with the stresses of balancing academic and financial responsibilities. She said this initiative gives that extra aid for students who need to purchase books or pay for that extra class.
“In life there are always obstacles, and to get a superior education is also an obstacle, but money should never be one of those obstacles. Pamela is helping make those students who have a dream a little easier to achieve them,” said Maria Elena Salinas, news anchor for Noticias 23.
For the SJMC, the Pamela Silva Conde Scholarship brings more recognition to the continued growth of the school.
“Thanks to Pamela [and] thanks to her generosity, we are going to help young people who do not have the means to get the college education they so richly deserve and importantly need,” said University President Rosenberg.
Along with the approval of the first Hispanic research scholarship, the SJMC has made significant achievements this year.
“Our students are singularly impressive. Any way we can get more financial resources to bring in equally determined and forward-thinking students will do that,” said Rosenberg.
“The most amazing thing about this scholarship is the fact that she wants to support those students who need the support. This is really important for us because a lot of students are struggling to go to school and juggling one or two jobs,” said Raul Reis, dean of the SJMC.
Plans for the future of the scholarship include increasing the amount of money given and the number of outstanding students who will receive the award. According to Conde, this will be a good way to continue to give back and help those students whose situations mirror her own.
“By giving back, Pamela is a shining example of what it means to do well and to do good,” said Rosenberg.
The Pamela Silva Conde Scholarship will begin accepting applications on November 1.
Students who attended the event were excited to be part of the SJMC and learn more about the new opportunity.
“It encourages me to work harder and get more involved. It’s like an inspiration,” said Maria Vargas Pardo, a freshman majoring in digital media.
For Laura Sofia Orozco, a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism, Conde’s scholarship means more than just a way to relieve financial burdens.
“I came as an immigrant and being a female Hispanic minority is a big thing for any scholarship, so being able to receive this scholarship would be a huge thing,” Orozco said.
“So many students want what Pamela has. She’s a terrific role model of someone who is smart, persistent and who did not come from privilege, but is willing to help other students become the next Pamela,” said Richards.