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Featured: Genaro Tijerina, a bilingual news reporter for Univision Communications 65 in Philadelphia, and a South Texas College alumnus, reflects on his upbringing and the hard work it took to accomplish his dream to become a broadcast journalist.

Photograph Courtesy UNIVISION 65 PHILADELPHIA

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Genaro Tijerina, South Texas College alumnus, reaching the big time in U.S. broadcast journalism

By LUIS M. GARCÍA 

Genaro Tijerina, a South Texas College alumnus and bilingual reporter in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – the fifth most populated city (1.6 million) in the United States – is in the studio and ready to start the day.

Tijerina, originally from Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico was raised in General Bravo, Nuevo León. He came to the United States for a better life. Being the son of immigrants, he and his parents were always traveling.

“When I used to live in Mexico with my parents, we would go back and forth all the time,” said Tijerina. “My parents would work in the fields in California and Texas.”

Growing up, Tijerina always dreamed of being a television anchor and says he knew exactly how he would make it happen.

“I remember as a kid, I would tell myself ‘Im going to move to the United States, learn English, and become an (news) anchor one day,’” he said. “I knew it was going to be a tough goal to reach, but I was motivated to make it happen.”

Tijerina’s journey of being a news anchor started at the age of 16 where he attended the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León. There, he received first place in the National Science Competition “VII World Science for all 2001-2002” and had the chance to visit the President of Mexico, Vicente Fox Quezada.

Tijerina migrated to the U.S. at the age of 18. It was then that he enrolled at South Texas College where he decided to pursue a Bachelors of Applied Technology Degree in Technology Management (BAT).

The BAT program at STC educates, trains, and develops successful supervisors who will be prepared to utilize technology to create a competitive advantage for their company.

“I enjoyed being in the BAT program. One of my biggest mentors was Dr. Ali Esmaeili,” explained Tijerina. “When I graduated, I graduated with four different honor societies that include the National Honor Society of Leadership and Success, Kappa Beta Honor Society, English Honor Society, and the Vice President Honor Society.”

Soon after graduating from STC, Tijerina found himself in the spotlight, landing several jobs including Telemundo 40 in McAllen, Entravision in McAllen, and Telemundo 60 in San Antonio.

“One of the things I remember working with these different companies, is that I got to interview people like Beto O’ Rourke, Julián Castro, Nancy Pelosi, and Ted Cruz,” said Tijerina.

According to Wikipedia:

Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke is an American businessman, musician, and politician who represented Texas’ 16th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 2013 to 2019. He is an announced Democratic candidate for President in 2020.

Julián Castro is an American Democratic politician who was the youngest member of President Obama’s Cabinet, serving as the 16th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2014 to 2017. He is an announced Democratic candidate for President in 2020.

Nancy Patricia Pelosi is an American Democratic politician serving as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives since January 2019. First elected to Congress in 1987, she is the only woman to have served as Speaker and is the highest-ranking elected woman in United States history. Pelosi is second in the presidential line of succession, immediately after the vice president.

Rafael Edward Cruz is an American politician and attorney serving as the junior United States Senator for Texas since 2013. He was the runner-up for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in the 2016 election.

Tijerina is now breaking the mold by making his dream a reality working for Univision in Philadelphia as a bilingual journalist.

“I work in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware,” said Tijerina. “Some of the things my job consists of is working with the community, covering breaking news stories, and writing in English and Spanish.”

Tijerina feels like he has learned a lot being able to cover news in different states and says the exposure has been amazing.

“My experience in these different states has been rewarding,” he expressed. “Two weeks ago, I received an email that I was selected as top journalist of the year by the National Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) from New York.”

According to the IAOTP news release announcing the award, he earned the recognition for “his outstanding leadership and commitment to the media industry. While inclusion with the International Association of Top Professionals is an honor in itself, only a few members in each discipline are chosen for this distinction. These special honorees are distinguished based on their professional accomplishments, academic achievements, leadership abilities, longevity in the field, other affiliations and contributions to their communities. All honorees are invited to attend the IAOTP’s annual award gala at the end of this year for a night to honor their achievements.

(http://www.iaotp.com/award-gala)

With news came that he had received the honor for IAOTP, Tijerina says he was overwhelmed with emotions and was taken back to his childhood.

“I had a flashback when I opened the award,” explained Tijerina. “It took me back to those times growing up in Mexico when I was poor and didn’t have much. I looked back to where I started to where I am now.”

He thanks South Texas College for the path he is on, and says he is proud of where he started.

“I am always going to be proud to be a Jaguar from South Texas College,” said Tijerina. “South Texas College is an excellent college that taught me everything I needed to know.”

With the press of a button, Tijerina is now on camera. He says that hard work pays off and says he wants to continue moving forward.

“As a son of immigrants, I came to America to have a better life, and I think I am achieving that slowly but surely,” he said. “I am very motivated to continue moving forward. I see the suffering of those individuals trying to cross for a better life and I want to do this for them.”

(https://www.facebook.com/genarotijerinatv/)

About IAOTP 

The International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) is an international boutique networking organization who handpicks the world’s finest, most prestigious top professionals from different industries.  These top professionals are given an opportunity to collaborate, share their ideas, be keynote speakers and to help influence others in their fields. This organization is not a membership that anyone can join.  You have to be asked by the President or be nominated by a distinguished honorary member after a brief interview.

IAOTP’s experts have given thousands of top prestigious professionals around the world, the recognition and credibility that they deserve and have helped in building their branding empires. IAOTP prides itself to be a one of a kind boutique networking organization that hand picks only the best of the best and creates a networking platform that connects and brings these top professionals to one place.
For more information on IAOTP please visit: http://www.iaotp.com

About South Texas College

Founded in 1993, South Texas College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and offers more than 120 degree and certificate options, including associate degrees in a variety of liberal art, social science, business, math, science, technology, advanced manufacturing and allied health fields of study. Additionally, South Texas College is the only community college in the State of Texas to offer four baccalaureate degrees. South Texas College has a faculty and staff of more than 2,700 to serve the college’s six campuses, two higher education centers, and one virtual campus.

TEXAS LEGISLATURE APPROVES BILL TO EXPAND ACCESS TO LOW-THC CANNABIS FOR TREATMENT OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, SPASTICITY, ALL FORMS OF EPILEPSY

More Texans could be prescribed a cannabis derivative to treat certain disorders under a bill approved by the Senate on Wednesday, 22, 2019, according to Texas Senate News.

Texas Senate News is the state-supported news and information division of the Senate.

Therapeutic use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil was first allowed in Texas under a bill passed two sessions ago, but could only for the treatment of a particular seizure disorder that resists standard treatments. In the four years since the law passed, it has proved its effectiveness, said  Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels.

“For patients participating in this program, they have had a remarkable and life-altering change because of this,” said Campbell, who is the Senate sponsor of House Bill 3703. “That’s compassion.”

Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Ft. Worth, is the main author of HB 3703, which would expand the conditions eligible for treatment with CBD oil. Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, is among the coauthors of HB 3703, while Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, and Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville, are cosponsors of the measure.

The author is the legislator who files a bill and guides it through the legislative process (also called the primary author). The sponsor is the legislator who guides a bill through the legislative process after the bill has passed the originating chamber. The sponsor is a member of the opposite chamber of the one in which the bill was filed.

A coauthor is a legislator authorized by the primary author of a bill or resolution to join in the authorship of the measure. A coauthor must be a member of the chamber in which the bill was filed.

A cosponsor is a legislator who joins with the primary sponsor to guide a bill or resolution through the legislative process in the opposite chamber. A cosponsor must be a member of the opposite chamber from the one in which the measure was filed.

Also according to Texas Senate News, CBD oil cannot get a person high; it contains less than 0.05 percent of THC, the psychoactive intoxicant associated with recreational cannabis use. Still, it falls under the state’s ban on cannabis and cannabis derivatives. That was a problem for families who had children with intractable epilepsy, a pernicious disorder that resists standard treatments and can cause hundreds of seizures in a week.

CBD oil, however, shows almost miraculous results in treating the disease and far milder side effects than standard epilepsy medications. In 2015, the Texas Senate passed a bill permitting the prescription of this treatment for just this disorder, and only under strict oversight. State law enforcement kept close track of who was prescribing and who was being prescribed the drug, and it required two separate neurologists to sign-off on the prescription and, then only after standard treatments had failed.

Campbell, a licensed physician, said that there is growing evidence that CBD oil is an effective treatment for a number of other disorders, enough to carefully expand the scope of this treatment.

“I wish there was a lot of measurable science, good, controlled, double-blind studies like is required for other medications, we don’t have that,” she said. “Narrowly crafting this gives us a walk with some assurance, not a race into something that may have a lot of unintended consequences.”

HB 3703 would ease the restrictions on who can prescribe CBD oil to a single board-certified specialist. It would allow doctors to prescribe CBD oil to treat multiple sclerosis, spasticity, incurable neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s and Lou Gehrig’s Disease, autism, and as a palliative treatment for people with terminal cancer. State law enforcement would still keep a close eye on the program.

For Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, whose wife Cehlia Newman-Menéndez has a neurodegenerative condition, this is a personal issue.

He filed a bill this session that would allow the use of cannabis as a treatment for a number of debilitating disorders, but the measure never got a hearing. He praised Campbell for her work in expanding the use of CBD oil in Texas.

“There are many, many people that have been asking me to present amendments, asking me to replace this bill with my bill,” said Menéndez. “I’m not going to do that, not because I don’t think we can do better, but because I think we must extend the compassionate use of cannabis products to more people. I want to thank you for joining us in our fight as a medical doctor.”

Menéndez said he hopes that one day, Texas will join 33 other states in allowing some form of medicinal cannabis beyond CBD oil.

As Chair of the Veteran Affairs and Border Security Committee, Campbell has been a long-time advocate for veteran issues. Many who fought in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have advocated this session include in this bill disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and others common among those returning home from combat.

Campbell said that she’s heard their petitions, and hopes that one day CBD oil can be approved for treatment of those disorders.

“We just don’t have the data, good, scientific data, for PTSD that we can put in this bill at this time,” she said. “I hope – I hope – that we can get definitive research necessary to be able to include PTSD, TBI and those other illnesses that are very difficult to measure.”

Passed unanimously by the Senate, and previously approved by the House of Representatives, the bill now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature.

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Bob Sanders contributed to this report. For more on this and other Texas legislative news stories which affect the Rio Grande Valley metropolitan region, please log on to Titans of the Texas Legislature (TitansoftheTexasLegislature.com)

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