I have to tip my hat to hard workers. And I do also like to recognize people who know that hard work is what brings us up through the ranks. I just told you about Soojung Cho and her beautiful artwork. Now I wish to direct you to a lady who makes nightly news spectacular.
CBS Laura Diaz is a woman with humble beginnings. Born in Santa Paula of farm workers starting a life for their children, Laura and her family spoke little English. Laura learned, along with her family, English and moved to Santa Clarita Valley. Laura's teachers were very supportive at William S. Hart High School where Laura was on the cheerleading team. She continued on to earn a B.A. in English at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. It was from an internship at IBM Communications that she found her love of public speaking. And Laura found her voice through KSBY-TV in San Luis, in Fresno for KFSN-TV and as a reporter for KABC-TV.
Now so far Laura sounds like many we know. Hard working, humble roots and having the experience of a good education. Good but not out of the ordinary. Diaz reported on many stories, such as the First Interstate Bank fire, the Northridge earthquake and the Los Angeles Riots where Laura was held at gunpoint by an angered group. In 1997 she was named lead anchor evening and nightly news and was the first Hispanic woman to hold that spot. In 2002 Laura Diaz changed from KABC-TV to KCBS-TV as co-anchor of the 5 and 11 p.m. news.
Laura now holds eight Emmy Awards, including an Emmy for Individual Achievement in Feature Reporting. She also has 2 Golden Mike Awards for best feature reporting. To top it off Laura holds the national Imagen Award from 2006. Top it off with the L.A. Press Club's highest honor, the "Joseph M. Quinn Award" for journalistic excellence and distinction. She has shown her talent and dedication to her career field. As a field reporter and producer including her anchor duties, Laura told of a undercover federal agent who infiltrated a murderous motorcycle gang, "The Mongols". She shared with us about a gang member that exposed "Emotional Gangs". This is a gang that spreads hate between African Americans and Latinos.
Top this with her commitment to "The Joyful Child Foundation." An organization that grew from her extensive coverage of the murder of Samantha Runnion by a sexual predator. Now this group works organizing neighborhood watches and how to stop child predators. 51 programs have now been established in southern California. It also includes children's creative writing and artistic programs, organisations to prevent child abuse and abduction and research about predator behaviour.
Now I know this is long but I do wish to recognize that dedication to self, to community and to a career is admirable. And in Laura Diaz we see all of this. Hats off!