Things That Matter

17 Latino Celebrities That Hold a College Degree

So many of our favorite celebrities attract us with their talents, good looks, or killer personalities. Unfortunately, there aren’t many celebrities, Latino or otherwise, that are known for their brains. However, the tradition of higher education is still alive and well, and many of our favorite Latino celebs actually have college degrees that they often don’t mention. Let’s check out some of our favorite Latino celebs that have college degrees, and see how they’ve used their education to improve their careers.

1. America Ferrera

Instagram /  @americaferrera

Best known for her role on Ugly Betty from 2006 to 2010, America Ferrera was born in Los Angeles to two parents who had recently immigrated from Honduras. She did plays all through elementary and high school, and eventually went to the University of Southern California to study both theater and international relations. She dropped out of school to focus on acting but ended up going back more than 10 years later to finish up her degree. Now, she divides her time between acting and political activism through organizations like the Time’s Up legal defense fund and Voto Latino.

2. Nina Garcia

Instagram / @ninagarcia

Although she’s been the editor-in-chief of Elle for more than 15 years, Nina Garcia is most recognizable to the public from her work as a judge on Project Runway. Garcia was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, but moved to the United States to attend a boarding school in Massachusetts at a very young age. Her exacting eye for fashion was developed through her journalism work, but she also has a related degree in fashion merchandising from the Fashion Institute of Technology. That’s in addition to her Bachelor’s degree from Boston University!

3. Mark Sanchez

Twitter / @marksanchez

Mark Sanchez has played football on six teams in his nine years in the NFL. Currently, he’s the quarterback of the Washington Redskins, but he grew up in beautiful southern California. Like many other kids from his neighborhood, he went to the University of Southern California, and finished his degree the same summer that he entered the NFL Draft. He’s considered one of the greatest Mexican-American athletes within the United States. He’s third-generation Mexican-American, and even took Spanish lessons so he could communicate better with Latino news outlets.

4. Salma Hayek

Instagram /  @salmahayek

Salma Hayek, who first became known for her work on Mexican telenovelas, has been a famous member of the Hollywood A-list since her first American movie (Desperado) in 1995. She was born in Mexico, and has moved back and forth from the United States a few times- the first was when she was 12, and moved to Louisiana to attend boarding school. She went to the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, and graduated with a degree in international relations.

5. Aubrey Plaza

Twitter /  @evilhag

Although it pains us to see her as anyone other than April Ludgate, Aubrey Plaza has become even more famous since her days on Parks and Recreation. Since Parks and Rec ended, she’s starred in several Hollywood blockbusters including Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, and Ingrid Goes West. Plaza attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts from 2003 to 2006, and while she was there performed at the venerable Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, doing improv and sketch comedy.

6. Christy Turlington

Instagram /  @cturlington

American-Salvadoran supermodel Christy Turlington was first discovered by a photographer when she was riding a horse in Miami, Florida. She was under 16 at the time, and for the next two years spent most of her after school time and summer vacations modeling. She moved to NYC when she was 18 to pursue a modeling career full-time. Although she didn’t attend a traditional college, she later enrolled at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, a school that’s famous for allowing students to essentially shape their own degrees. Turlington graduated with a degree in comparative religion and Eastern philosophy.

7. Eva Longoria

Instagram /  @evalongoria

Eva Longoria has been a well-known TV actress since her time on The Young and the Restless back in 2001. After she left that show in 2003, she signed on to play Gabrielle Solis in Desperate Housewives, which ran until 2012. This Tejano beauty has been a hard worker from early on, working at Wendy’s for three years to earn enough money for her quinceañera. She attended Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and earned her degree in kinesiology before getting her masters in Chicano studies at Cal State Northridge.

8. Rosie Perez

Twitter /  @rosieperezbklyn

Former The View host Rosie Perez has been a Hollywood and Broadway stalwart for decades now. Born in Brooklyn, and strongly identifying as a Nuyorican, Perez grew up all over Brooklyn and Queens before moving to Los Angeles for college. She appeared in a ton of different music videos after being scouted at a dance club, but now says that she only danced to relieve stress while she was doing her undergrad in bio-chemistry. She has been an active supporter of Puerto Rican rights all her life.

9. Tatyana Ali

Instagram / @tatyanaali

Panamanian-Trinidadian actress Tatyana Ali was born in North Bellmore, New York, and started her acting career at an extremely young age. She was a child performer on Sesame Street, but made her acting breakthrough when she was cast as Ashley Banks in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Although she’s been acting since she was a kid, she took time out of her career to attend Harvard, where she got a degree in African-American and Government studies. She’s currently married to an assistant professor of English who teaches at Stanford.  

10. Soledad O’Brien

Twitter / @soledadobrien

Soledad O’Brien, who currently helms the nationally-syndicated Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien, attended Harvard-Radcliffe College. She actually dropped out right before she graduated to take her first TV job, but went back to finish her degree 12 years later, in 2000. She has five siblings, all of whom graduated from Harvard as well.

11. Oscar Isaac

Twitter / @realoscarisaac

Oscar Isaac was actually born Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada. He came to the United States from his home country of Guatemala when he was only 5 years old. He was a class clown growing up, and was eventually expelled from grade school. He joined a band in high school, but eventually gave up music to attend the acting program at the Juilliard School in NYC. Since then, he’s been in tons of movies including Inside Llewyn Davis and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. 

12. Sara Ramirez

Instagram / @therealsararamirez

Mexican-American activist and actress Sara Ramirez is definitely a triple-threat. She played the original Lady of the Lake in the Broadway musical Spamalot, is still remembered fondly from her days on Grey’s Anatomy, and released her first solo EP in 2011. She’s also a passionate LGBTQ activist and works with several organizations to advocate for equal rights around the world. She graduated from the elite Juilliard School with a BFA in Dramatics.

13. Jordana Brewster

Instagram / @jordanabrewster

As an actress, Jordana Brewster has really done it all. She’s appeared in soap operas, horror films, indie dramas, and finally the action franchise The Fast and the Furious. After more than 14 years with the franchise, she was written out after Furious 7. She’s appeared on multiple lists of the sexiest women in the world, but she’s got brains as well. She graduated from Yale in 2003 with a degree in English.

14. Laz Alonso

Instagram / @lazofficial

Another popular actor that’s also appeared in the Fast and the Furious franchise is Laz Alonso. He first got his start hosting shows on the BET network, and eventually moved on to roles in movies like Stomp the Yard and Jarhead. He comes from a Washington, DC-area Afro-Cuban family, and was an investment banker before he became an actor. He graduated from Howard University with a BBA in Marketing.

15. Victor Cruz

Instagram / @teamvic

After a near-record-breaking 131 catches during his college football career at UMass, Victor Cruz was first drafted by the New York Giants. After finishing his degree, he went on to play as a wide receiver for both the Giants and the Chicago Bears before retiring in 2018. He’s currently an analyst for ESPN.

16. Benjamin Bratt

Instagram / @benjaminbratt

All millennials will remember Benjamin Bratt, the hottie who played Sandra Bullock’s partner in Miss Congeniality. This American-Peruvian silver fox also spent four years as Det. Rey Curtis on Law & Order. He grew up in San Francisco, and attended UC Santa Barbara, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He planned on doing a Master’s degree in theater, but left the program before he graduated to appear in the TV movie  Juarez.

17. Dania Ramirez

Instagram / @daniajramirez

Actress Dania Ramirez was born in the Dominican Republic, but moved to the United States as a teenager to study acting. She ended up graduating from Montclair State University in New Jersey, having played varsity volleyball for most of her college years. She’s appeared in TV, movies, and music videos, and has also modeled for CoverGirl.

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Missouri Woman Seen Holding Pelosi Sign Faces First Judge In Series Of Court Dates For Federal Charges

Things That Matter

Missouri Woman Seen Holding Pelosi Sign Faces First Judge In Series Of Court Dates For Federal Charges

homegrownterrorists / Instagram

Update January 21, 2021

A Missouri woman named Emily Hernandez had a court hearing in St. Louis after her involvement in the Capitol riots. Hernandez, 21, is facing several federal charges after participating in the deadly Capitol riot.

Emily Hernandez is facing the music after storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

According to KSDK, Hernandez, who is from Sullivan, Missouri, has been released without bond after her first hearing in St. Louis. She has been ordered to stay in the Eastern District of Missouri until her next court date in Washington. Part of the terms of her release is that she is not allowed to travel to Washington other than for her court date.

During the hearing, she was recorded saying, “I’m sorry, I’m nervous.”

Hernandez is facing the following federal charges: knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct which impedes the conduct of government business, steal, sell, convey or dispose of anything of value in the United States, disruptive conduct in the Capitol buildings, parading, demonstrating or picketing in the Capitol buildings.

Original: After a group of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Jan. 6, people immediately started identifying the intruders. Videos have been circulating and people are steadily contacting the FBI to expose them. Instagram page @homegrownterrorists is one of the leading forces in identifying the rioters.

On Jan. 6, people stormed our Capitol building and the American people are demanding justice.

Images of people storming the Capitol building and looting the offices of members of Congress startled people around the world. One of the safest places in the world was overrun by far-right Trump supporters attacking the democratic process. Americans are demanding justice and working together to identify and report as many people to the FBI that were at the Capitol.

The Instagram page is unapologetically encouraging followers to identify people at the Capitol.

Five people died as a result of the riot, two of them were police officers. The Instagram page, run anonymously, is encouraging people to share the photos to their stories to increase the reach. The account might not have any legal power, but it is having some success. There has been more than one person identified through the IG page that has led to people losing jobs and being arrested by the FBI.

The account has disappeared multiple times but always comes back.

The mystery person running the account has expressed concern over their safety. The account has been suspended by Instagram after being reported by multiple people. There has even been some talk about them receiving threats of violence via DMs.

The person who runs the account has mentioned it randomly on their stories but with no real detail. According to recent stories, the person behind the account doesn’t want to antagonize the people sending threats.

The owner of the account did say that they have been contacted by Instagram about the account.

A tweet from HomeGrownTerrorists caught Instagram’s attention and the account was reinstated. However, there was a backup account to keep functioning in case the original got deleted. IG and the account owner reached an agreement where they get to keep the main account and the backup account was permanently banned. No questions asked.

If you want to help or be connected to the cause, you can follow this page on Instagram.

There are a lot of people left to identify and the nation’s law enforcement is bracing for more violence. Capitols in all 50 states are on alert for possible attacks and the National Guard is being mobilized in big numbers for the inauguration. We are not out of the woods when it comes to the threats that have been made.

READ: After Last Week’s Riots, A Black Woman Has Been Appointed to U.S. Capitol Police Chief

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UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Things That Matter

UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Photo courtesy Forward Latino

An unnamed UPS delivery driver has been fired after being caught using racist language when delivering a package to a Latino household. The incident occurred on December 17th.

The video, which was caught on a doorbell camera’s security footage, shows a white UPS driver appearing to be angry when delivering a package.

“Now you don’t get f—–g nothing…You can’t read and write and speak the f—–g English language,” he says while writing a “failed to deliver” notice and pasting it on the house’s front door.

The Aviles family says that the footage shows that the UPS worker never even attempted to deliver the package in the first place. He never rang the doorbell or knocked on the door. Based on that, the family has come to the conclusion that the driver intentionally withheld the package from the family out of prejudice and spite

They believe that the only way the driver could’ve known that the family was Latino was by making assumptions based off the name on the package.

“The only information this driver had that could serve as a trigger for this deep-seated hate was the name on the package,” said Forward Latino President Darryl Morin at a press conference addressing the incident.

“So what we have here is a very intentional act to ruin Christmas for somebody, for someone to spew this hateful rhetoric, and quite honestly to deceive their employer,” Morin continued.

Per UPS, the employee has now been fired. “There is no place in any community for racism, bigotry or hate. This is very serious and we promptly took action, terminating the driver’s employment. UPS is wholeheartedly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion,” UPS said in a statement. They also said they contacted the family to apologize.

But the Aviles family is still rattled that such bigoted people are out and about, letting their petty prejudices effect other people’s lives.

“The package was a Christmas gift that we eventually received after Christmas Day, but what if it happened to have time-sensitive content like an epipen or a book I needed to take a final,” said Shirley Aviles, the mother of the man who lives at the address, told NBC News. “I don’t get it. It’s just sad.”

Aviles seemed disturbed about what this incident says about human nature. “This is about the things people do when they think no one is watching them. That’s important because that’s when you see people’s true colors and that’s what’s scary,”

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