Pamela Silva Conde's passion for these three charities will inspire you
As cohost of Univision's Primer Impacto, six-time Emmy Award-winning journalist, Pamela Silva Conde, graces television screens daily in millions of homes.
Over the last three years, her unrivaled work ethic and spot-on coverage of national and international news, fashion, health and entertainment have garnered the former Miami Dolphins cheerleader worldwide recognition.
On giving back
With such a demanding career, it would be easy to assume Conde couldn't possibly fit anything else into her packed agenda.
But, rather than curling up on the sofa in a pair of yoga pants and fuzzy slippers — as many of us are wont to do after a long week — Conde devotes much of her "spare" time to philanthropic efforts.
So, we had to ask, where does she get her drive? Well, as it were, she gets it from her mama.
"On the personal front, it's definitely my mother," said Conde. "She's a single parent, a hard worker and just an extraordinary person who's had a huge influence obviously on my life and the way I treat others." It's her mother, Conde shares, who taught her that it doesn't matter how much you give — it's a matter of giving whatever you can.
Clearly, the example set by Conde's mother took, as her charity work is just as consuming as her day job.
On the causes she loves
One such charity the star stays busy with is of her own devising — the recently established Pamela Silva Conde Scholarship, which awards first-generation, low-income college students with tuition assistance each year at her own alma mater, Florida International University.
When asked why she is so passionate about the program, Conde said, "It really breaks the cycle for families... it only takes one person in your family to attend college, and you really have improved your quality of life, not only for that individual, but also for the rest of their family."
Additionally, Conde is an avid volunteer and a national spokesperson for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
"I remember the first time that I walked through the hospital five years ago," said Conde. "It just blew my mind away. Because people are very skeptical — they think they're going to leave there depressed or it's going to be a tough experience, and it's the total opposite. You walk through the hallways and it's very inspirational. It's a happy place."
Still, those aren't the only two causes Conde pours her heart and energy into — she serves on the board of directors for Amigos for Kids, too.
"We provide an after-school program," she explained. "So, it seems like something simple, but it really makes a difference when you help these families in taking care of their children at a time when they're usually working, so they're not alone at the house or they're not tempted to be doing something else."
On why she gets involved
Conde doesn't consider her involvement with these organizations to be generous. Rather, she considers it her responsibility, saying, "I think we have a voice — many times for people who don't actually have one — and I think we can do a lot of good with that."
Of course, she acknowledges that not everyone is honoring the power of their voice.
"There are a lot of people that are not using it for that benefit. But for me, one of the blessings of my job is being able to have that platform and that contact with so many people," she said, "and I try to use it in a positive way."
But Conde also has no problem rattling off the names of journalists she feels are using their voices to make a difference, and Diane Sawyer perches near the top of that list right now.
"I think you should have different mentors and always be updating your wish list. I tell people, 'Update your dreams often.' And I think, obviously, Diane Sawyer is someone that, as a woman, I think is great."
And, although she may not realize it, Conde is the kind of mentor who tops the "wish list" of dream collaborators for many young journalists. Her unique perspective — she often says she feels blessed to have gone through so many obstacles in her life — is both humbling and inspiring.
According to her, adversity enhances the human experience and helps us relate to each other.
"It makes you more vulnerable, but it also makes you more fearless at some point. To achieve great things, you have to be able to really try, and once you get rid of that fear, you are willing to swing bigger and try bigger things. I always tell people to look into whatever hardship they've been through as a positive," she explained.
So, it's not the Emmys or the accolades Conde wants to be remembered for. The benevolent beauty would much rather know that her life sets an example for others.
"I think, more than anything, I hope we generate a new generation of people who are going to pay it forward," she said.
"We want to motivate people to also be very grateful and thankful, and the best way to show that you're grateful and thankful is by giving back."