As much as I dreamed it since I was a little boy, the hard work has finally paid off.
For the last couple of months I have been aggressively trying to find my way into broadcast television full-time and now I am happy to write and inform the readers of En La Vida that my dream is finally coming true.
I just signed a two-year contract with KTVO-TV/ABC News Channel 3 in Kirksville, Missouri, to become one of the station's new general assignment reporters beginning May 5. As you know, with good news there is also bad news attached. My bad news is obvious, I will be departing from the wonderful City of Chicago to begin my new life.
I am leaving behind so many friends and all of my family who I will deeply miss every single day while I am gone. But as you know, with every door that you close, a new one opens. I hope to meet a whole lot of new people while I'm in Missouri, but I truly also hope I can one day return to Chicago and grace you with my presence again.
Thank you for the support that you have all given me for the past couple of years. It will never be forgotten. I will continue to contribute to En La Vida and hope to bring you along for the ride during my journey.
Saying Good-bye to My Community
It took only one person to influence my decision to learn more about HIV/AIDS and only one community to inspire and teach me how to make a difference from what I learned.
My work in the last seven years in the field of public health has been pretty much dedicated to my beloved friend, Lady Di, who influenced my life a great deal during my teenage years in high school. It was during those years that I like to believe I did a lot of growing up both personally and professionally.
Since I joined this community in 1997, I have met so many different people, all unique in their own special way, who taught me about dedication and teamwork.
When I first walked into the doors of Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) to be a volunteer, I didn't know exactly what to expect, or the type of people I would encounter. I can say, however, what I found was long-lasting friendships and respect for my commitment to reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS among my community.
Something I remember the most was meeting my best friends Kevin Sanchez and Moe Garcia, who have been part of my life ever since. Other great characters I can never forget are Larry Fahey, Liz Perez, Heather Bell, Sonia Torres, Borris Powell, Bob Wolnski and Thomas Dunning, and later Ana Arias, Michael Nudo, David Henry and Michael Munn.
I met Luule Vess, founder and former executive director of Project VIDA, in 1999—she recruited me to her motivated and hard-working young staff. There I met new friends like Ana Pedraza and Carlos Samaniego, who've dedicated their work to helping young men and women on the Southwest side.
My journey then took me to the camp grounds of Minority Outreach Intervention Project (MOIP), where I was reacquainted with Dr. Felicity LaBoy and met Dale Green, Willie Leaks, Glenn Wright, Raven Thompson and of course the unforgettable Richard Santana, whose trust and commitment to the Latino community has made him one of the most respected individuals I know.
Like an airline ticket, my trip to HBHC and Project VIDA was round trip, as I returned to both jobs during and after the fall of MOIP.
On the city level I became the youngest member of the HIV Prevention Planning Group (HPPG), and the youngest co-chair ever. My motivation to help lead this group of 30-something members was inspired by Martin Gonzalez-Rojas of CALOR and Jim Pickett, who both were my 'buddies' during my first year on HPPG.
Of course I couldn't forget the wonderful help from Esther Moreno, Fikirte Wagaw, Christopher Brown, Kendra Phillips, Laird Peterson, Leslie Cain and Tracy Fischman.
I began this article here in En La Vida back in 1998, thanks to writer/actor Sanford Gaylord, who introduced me to the entire Windy City Media Group and great writers like DJ Harry T, Preston Shumaker, Tracy Baim, Jose Gonzalez, and Juanita Crespo.
I will never forget all of these, and all those who I wasn't able to fit all on this one page, but know that your efforts, love and care that you have shown me in the last couple of years will never be forgotten.
See www.CarlosCorrea.com .