Students receive pearls of wisdom, words of encouragement from media leaders

HOUSTON – The Houston Association of Black Journalists held its annual Student Mentorship Breakfast on Dec. 7 to a packed house of speakers and students awaiting media-related words of wisdom.

More than a dozen panelists participated in a series of sessions aimed at empowering the next wave of aspiring young journalists and public relations professionals. Groups of students from Prairie View A & M University, the University of Houston, Texas Southern University and even one George Ranch High School student,  Princess Sinkambe, lined up to shake the hands of media leaders and ask for advice.

Sessions included From the Classroom to the Newsroom: Skills You Need to Succeed Today and Beyond; Life Outside the Newsroom: Transitioning from Newsroom Life to Other Communications Careers; From the Veterans: Shifting and Shaping a Long-Term Career in Media; and Making the Most Out of Your Internships.

Esteemed panelists for the morning included Audrey Gilbreath, CEO of Gilbreath Communications; Lisa Ashley, media relations director for Port of Houston; Isidro Reyna, senior communications specialist for NASA; Kathy Sapp, executive producer of Judge Faith Show, Mary Benton, press secretary for Mayor Sylvester Turner; Meshach Sullivan, Houston Astros communications coordinator; and Shelley Wade, pop culture and entertainment expert known for her distinguished voice when she was one of Houston’s leading radio personalities.

“It was extremely exciting to see the amazing turnout of Black and Brown students from various colleges and universities, and the esteemed media professionals who dropped what they were doing on a Saturday morning to come and pour into the younger generation,” said Nakia Cooper, HABJ president. “My favorite panel was the one focusing on ‘Life outside the newsroom,’ because it shows the students that, even if they feel that newsroom life is not for them, they have so many more avenues in which they could put those journalism and communication degrees to good use – and in many cases, for more money in starting salaries.”

Students also sang praises of the event.

PVAMU student, Tori Summers, said she now understands the importance of being prepared for the industry.

“I attend and HBCU,” Summers said. “My university is preparing us with the truth: This is the color of your skin. You’re not socially acceptable in these parts. There’s going to be some things that they are not going to like about you, but I’m being prepared to maneuver through it”

The goal of HABJ is to encourage, uplift and motivate minority students chasing their dreams in the fields of media and communications. The organization, which has a new board, has been running full speed ahead on hosting valuable workshops and mixers to increase awareness and support, and raise money for the scholarship program.


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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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