Tessa Thompson considers herself Afro-Latina, a black woman, a person of color, and Latinx. But when fans go to see the sci-fi action blockbuster “Men in Black: International” this weekend, she hopes that they will only see her character, Agent M, on the silver screen.
“I hope we can get to the space in Hollywood where it’s not noteworthy for a woman, and particularly a woman of color, to top line a franchise film,” Thompson, who has Afro-Panamanian and Mexican roots, told NBC News. “I hope we can get to a place where we don’t have to congratulate it, or comment on it because it happens with such frequency. But we are still really far away from there.”
“Men in Black: International” partners Agent M with Agent H (played by Chris Hemsworth) in a globetrotting mission that will take viewers on a fun and exciting adventure through Western Europe and Northern Africa to find a murderer, expose a mole, and ultimately save the world.
Fans first meet M as the six-year-old Molly who has an unexpected encounter with an alien. This exposes her to a new world that is inhabited by unearthly beings. And after the Men in Black erase her parents’ memory, M dedicates her life to tracking down the organization and pursuing the truth.
“Memory is huge for M,” Thompson said. “She doesn’t want to live a lie, and she feels that because there’s this organization [Men in Black] that can go around wiping out memories, the only way to relive the truth in terms of the universe and its underpinnings is to be a part of this organization.” In playing Agent M, the critically acclaimed actress tapped into her gender and ethnicity as a way to understand what drove and tested her character.
“If you’re a woman, and particularly a woman of color, and you’re trying to get access to any space that has been historically white and male, you have to work harder,” Thompson said. “This was an inspiration for me when I was thinking about M because she’s so ambitious. She wants to be good, but she also knows that she has to be good — especially if she wants to get to where she wants to go.”
Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.
Microsoft wants to help 25 million people around the world get better jobs by the end of this year. And by better, it means most in-demand now and post-pandemic.
That’s likely music to the ears of those who are currently unemployed in the wake of COVID-19. But even those who still have jobs can advance their careers by tapping into Microsoft’s new initiative, which tackles the problem with a three-part strategy.
The first part is identifying the opportunity. For this, Microsoft is leaning into LinkedIn’s Economic Graph, an analysis of “all the data on LinkedIn that shows available jobs, their required skills, and the existing skills job seekers have,” and offering it for free to governments.
The Economic Graph already surfaced the current top 10 most in-demand jobs that it predicts will have staying power throughout the next decade. Among them:
Customer- service specialist
Sales -development representative
IT support/help desk technician
The second part of the strategy is to get people up to speed on the skills needed to land those jobs. As such, they will offer free LinkedIn Learning video courses that align with the required core skills for these roles through the end of this year. These courses are currently available in English, French, Spanish, and German.
Finally, Microsoft wants to be sure that the people taking the courses will receive certification for their learning. So the company is making exams available at a reduced rate through the end of the year. These are “industry-recognized, Microsoft Certifications based on exams that demonstrate proficiency in Microsoft technologies,” for $15, which the company says “represents a large discount on the price of exams that typically cost more than $100.”
As businesses prepare to open their doors again, the hiring process has begun. Nearly forty million Americans lost their jobs from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, which means that many of those people will be searching for work and participating in job interviews.
But, as we are still adhering to some social distancing rules, many of these interviews are likely to occur via video call.
Interviewing virtually is an unfamiliar territory, but having a successful, meaningful virtual interview is definitely possible.
Here are the best tips for having the most successful interview on a virtual platform.
As you would for an in-person interview, you want to look presentable. While this means wearing an interview-appropriate outfit, you want to make sure that your background and camera angle are also presentable. Make sure your background is clean, containing as little distractions as possible, and that your computer’s camera is catching the best angle of yourself. This will allow the interviewer to see the best version of yourself while bringing their full attention to what you are saying and not to what else is happening in your environment.
Make Eye Contact
As you would in a physical job interview, you want to make eye contact with the interviewer. It can be difficult not to look at your own reflection in the video call and worry about how you look to the other party, but remember to look into the computer’s camera to show the interviewer that you are paying attention to what they are saying and are really listening.
Remember the Lag
Unfortunately, video calls are known to lag and glitch. Neither party is at fault, but be aware of these inconveniences. Talking over the interviewer, accidentally interrupting, audio cutouts, and temporary freezes are bound to happen, so speak slowly and talk only when necessary to avoid these possible interview mishaps.
Use Your Resources
Virtual interviews allow for better access to virtual resources. Keeping interview notes on your screen and using screen share to give examples of your work will help you to remember your best selling points and show your interviewer what you are capable of.
A study of global online traffic shows the whole world is staying logged on later at night and enjoying a lie in before starting work in the morning. VPN providers have a unique insight into global web traffic as their servers track usage in multiple countries allowing them to monitor patterns in how people are working in countries from Australia to Canada. And the massive spike in home working caused by the Coronavirus pandemic has meant more people are installing VPN software to protect confidential business networks as they work remotely.
The figures show that compared to pre-lockdown, people across the UK, the U.S., Germany, Australia, and Canada have been going to sleep and waking up later than usual.
The new data has been collated by privacy protection company Surfshark. It indicates spikes in use from midnight to 3 a.m. that were not present before the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Due to the aggregated anonymous data that we collect, we are able to compare how people behaved pre-COVID-19 to the current trends, and we have seen some interesting changes in their habits,” said Naomi Hodges, the cybersecurity advisor at Surfshark. “Weekend VPN usage has mainly remained the same; however, from the aggregated data alone, it is apparent that people have been behaving differently during the working days.”
With some variations, the Coronavirus outbreak has given a significant boost to VPN usage. While precise hours vary, new peak times are emerging, and a clear trend of night owls is present across the UK, the U.S., Germany, Australia, and Canada.
People are staying up later – either to work or to play games or watch movies. However, it seems that the lockdowns have all but eliminated early birds. People around the world have been enjoying a lie in and typically not going online until 8:00 or 9:00.
The data shows people remain the most productive during the daytime. On the other hand, there’s no clear lunchtime lull as people are able to either eat at their desks or vary their breaks. There’s also been little change to weekend patterns, which shows that not even a pandemic can change the way people spend their off time.
In addition to that, peak times are now virtually gone. Instead of more people connecting in the evening, now the connection rates remain relatively even from morning to night, with only slight fluctuations that largely depend on a specific country in question.
The UK is waking up and staying up later
Since March 23, when the UK went into a full COVID-19 lockdown, the average connection counts grew by 60%. It’s a considerable jump, far more than the 15% growth which had been expected.
There are clear patterns concerning working times. Early mornings saw a 25 to 34% decrease, while daytime grew by 10-30%, and nights from midnight to 3 a.m. increased by 25%. Going by these numbers, it is clear that people stay up longer than usual, and in turn, they start their working day later.
The United States is starting work later, but sleeping less
In April, the vast majority of the USA went into full lockdown. It was expected that this situation would make VPN usage grow in the US by approximately 20%; instead, it surged by 56%.
Just like in the UK, US workers have been starting their day later, as their 5:00 to 8:00 a.m. usage fell. Daytime usage saw a significant increase beginning at 11:00 a.m., hitting the peak at 1:00 p.m. Americans went to sleep later, with high usage rates from 0100 to 0300.
Although with slight variations from the United Kingdom, the US saw very similar patterns: people are staying up longer, and sleeping in; although in general, Americans are sleeping less than before the pandemic hit.
Germany is the most productive in the first half of the day
On March 20, Bavaria went into a full lockdown – the first of Germany’s federal states to do so. The average connection counts increased by 52% since the nationwide quarantine, although it was expected only to see a growth of 26%.
Just like in the US and the UK, Germany saw a decrease in connections in the early morning from 5:00 to 8:00 a.m. However, they seem to be earlier birds than most, with their peak covering the first half of the day – from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Australia is sleeping in and staying up late
Since closing non-essential businesses on March 23, there was a 58% growth in VPN usage. That’s a massive difference from the projected 14%, showing that many Australians probably started remote work and self-quarantine earlier than many other nations.
It’s no surprise that their connection counts dropped in the early morning hours, from 4:00 to 8:00 a.m. Another pattern we have already seen is a significant increase in usage late at night between 11:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. in Australia.
Canada is where VPN usage grew the most
During the past two weeks, VPN usage in Canada has increased by a huge 64%, compared with expected growth of 19%. That suggests a high number of companies taking their operations online.
Just like in the other analysed countries, Canadians have lower connection counts early on from 5:00 to 8:00 a.m. They are also staying up late, and there has been a considerable increase in connections through the night.
These new patterns have emerged during the unprecedented experience of global lockdowns. It’s difficult to predict whether we will see huge growth in remote work, although Twitter is setting a new example.
CEO Jack Dorsey has announced that all employees are welcome to work remotely even after the end of the lockdown. This sets a new precedent for more and more remote work, especially in industries where being physically present is not crucial.
It remains unclear how many companies will follow suit, but currently it’s evident that operations haven’t come to a full stop in many offices.
“Telecommuting does present its own unique challenges, and even if more and more companies are to adopt it in the future, it’s unlikely that it will continue as it has during lockdown. There are probably stricter on and off-hours to be expected, as the current habits are also affected mainly by the fact that most people are not leaving their homes very often,” said Hodges.
Want to learn to code? Put down the math book. Practice those communication skills instead.
New research from the University of Washington finds that a natural aptitude for learning languages is a stronger predictor of learning to program than basic math knowledge, or numeracy. That’s because writing code also involves learning a second language, an ability to learn that language’s vocabulary and grammar, and how they work together to communicate ideas and intentions. Other cognitive functions tied to both areas, such as problem solving and the use of working memory, also play key roles.
“Many barriers to programming, from prerequisite courses to stereotypes of what a good programmer looks like, are centered around the idea that programming relies heavily on math abilities, and that idea is not born out in our data,” said lead author Chantel Prat, an associate professor of psychology at the UW and at the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences. “Learning to program is hard but is increasingly important for obtaining skilled positions in the workforce. Information about what it takes to be good at programming is critically missing in a field that has been notoriously slow in closing the gender gap.”
Published online March 2 in Scientific Reports, an open-access journal from the Nature Publishing Group, the research examined the neurocognitive abilities of more than three dozen adults as they learned Python, a common programming language. Following a battery of tests to assess their executive function, language and math skills, participants completed a series of online lessons and quizzes in Python. Those who learned Python faster, and with greater accuracy, tended to have a mix of strong problem-solving and language abilities.
In today’s STEM-focused world, learning to code opens up a variety of possibilities for jobs and extended education. Coding is associated with math and engineering; college-level programming courses tend to require advanced math to enroll and they tend to be taught in computer science and engineering departments. Other research, namely from UW psychology professor Sapna Cheryan, has shown such requirements and perceptions of coding reinforce stereotypes about programming as a masculine field, potentially discouraging women from pursuing it.
But coding also has a foundation in human language: Programming involves creating meaning by stringing symbols together in rule-based ways.
Though a few studies have touched on the cognitive links between language learning and computer programming, some of the data is decades old, using languages like Pascal that are now out of date, and none of them used natural language aptitude measures to predict individual differences in learning to program.
So, Prat, who specializes in the neural and cognitive predictors of learning human languages, set out to explore the individual differences in how people learn Python. Python was a natural choice, Prat explained, because it resembles English structures, such as paragraph indentation, and uses many real words rather than symbols for functions.
To evaluate the neural and cognitive characteristics of “programming aptitude,” Prat studied a group of native English speakers between the ages of 18 and 35 who had never learned to code.
Before learning to code, participants took two completely different types of assessments. First, participants underwent a five-minute electroencephalography scan, which recorded the electrical activity of their brains as they relaxed with their eyes closed. In previous research, Prat showed that patterns of neural activity while the brain is at rest can predict up to 60 percent of the variability in the speed with which someone can learn a second language (in that case, French).
“Ultimately, these resting-state brain metrics might be used as culture-free measures of how someone learns,” Prat said.
Then the participants took eight different tests: one that specifically covered numeracy; one that measured language aptitude; and others that assessed attention, problem-solving and memory.
To learn Python, the participants were assigned ten 45-minute online instruction sessions using the Codeacademy educational tool. Each session focused on a coding concept, such as lists or if/then conditions, and concluded with a quiz that a user needed to pass to progress to the next session. For help, users could turn to a “hint” button, an informational blog from past users and a “solution” button, in that order.
From a shared mirror screen, a researcher followed along with each participant and was able to calculate their “learning rate,” or speed with which they mastered each lesson, as well as their quiz accuracy and the number of times they asked for help.
After completing the sessions, participants took a multiple-choice test on the purpose of functions (the vocabulary of Python) and the structure of coding (the grammar of Python). For their final task, they programmed a game—Rock, Paper, Scissors—considered an introductory project for a new Python coder. This helped assess their ability to write code using the information they had learned.
Ultimately, researchers found scores from the language aptitude test were the strongest predictors of participants’ learning rate in Python. Scores from tests in numeracy and fluid reasoning were also associated with Python learning rate, but each of these factors explained less variance than language aptitude did.
Presented another way, across learning outcomes, participants’ language aptitude, fluid reasoning and working memory, and resting-state brain activity were all greater predictors of Python learning than was numeracy, which explained an average of 2 percent of the differences between people. Importantly, Prat also found that the same characteristics of resting-state brain data that previously explained how quickly someone would learn to speak French, also explained how quickly they would learn to code in Python.
“This is the first study to link both the neural and cognitive predictors of natural language aptitude to individual differences in learning programming languages. We were able to explain over 70 percent of the variability in how quickly different people learn to program in Python, and only a small fraction of that amount was related to numeracy,” Prat said. Further research could examine the connections between language aptitude and programming instruction in a classroom setting, or with more complex languages, such as Java, or with more complicated tasks to demonstrate coding proficiency, Prat said.
Traditional job fairs can be a drag, requiring your recruiters to travel, set up an expensive display, and stay on top of their game when they’re tired and maybe even a bit overwhelmed by a crush of candidates. But if you need a good-sized pool of potential employees, you probably feel you have no choice but to participate.
Actually, however, that’s not completely true. Your business can reap many of the benefits of such an event without some of the drawbacks, thanks to the growth of virtual job fairs.
Here are seven reasons why your company should take part in a virtual job fair:
1. You can interact with potential employees from all over the world and a variety of disciplines.
In today’s job market, you can’t afford to limit your hiring pool to a small geographical area or a particular kind of person. A virtual fair can put you in touch with a huge variety of people quickly and efficiently.
2. Virtual fairs save you money.
When your “booth” is in cyberspace, you don’t have to pay for a big display or for your recruiters’ travel. Your team can manage everything from the comfort of their offices—or from their own homes, if you offer remote work options.
3. You can take advantage of pre-fair promotion.
These events are enthusiastically and broadly advertised by their sponsors, and your participation will allow you to piggyback on that promotion to build your brand—all without paying for advertising. You can’t beat that kind of opportunity to create awareness about your company and what you do.
4. You can manage and target your message.
When you’re participating in an online event, you can be sure that your talking points will be communicated consistently and will reach your intended audience. “All applicants will receive the same information, face the same questions, and confer with the same company representatives,” says an article from Getting Hired.
5. Virtual fairs allow you to use your time more effectively.
“You can have multiple conversations going at the same time with job seekers, so it is less time-consuming than traditional career fairs,” says an article from Right Management.
6. Online fairs let you communicate the way your workers do.
“Whether you’re a millennial, a Gen Xer, or baby boomer, we all communicate online through messaging apps, such as Facebook messenger or through text messaging,” says an article from Brazen. “Online events and online career fairs offer the same form of communication. Take advantage of this shift.”
7. You can guarantee you’re capturing the information you need.
This is another point noted in the Getting Hired article. “A virtual career fair automatically captures the data of applicants, helping to ensure easier contact and follow up after the event, as well as retaining all candidates’ contact information for future roles and pipelines,” the article says.
Your company should explore opportunities to participate in these types of virtual activities. The savings in time and money, along with the ability to extend your recruiting reach nationwide or even worldwide, make them an obvious choice when you’re seeking the most talented workers to help your business grow.
Most advice about how to make working from home actually work focuses on the practical: The right office space. The right desk. The ergonomically perfect chair. The right software, the right messaging platform, the right apps…all the “stuff” you need to make remote work actually work.
Yet, ask most people who made the transition to working from home what they struggled with most – and continue to struggle with—and they will list things like staying motivated, managing their time wisely, avoiding distractions and staying on task—none of which has anything to do with “stuff.”
When I first started working from home, I instinctively replicated my old office environment. I bought a big desk. Nice credenza. Conference table. Large filing cabinet. Fancy chair. A cool land-line phone. To paraphrase the eminently quotable Chris Rock, that’s what I was accustomed to.
So, I assumed that’s what I needed.
But none of those things made me efficient, much less effective. I missed the “structure” of the workplace, the natural rhythm of a workday that, even though I was in charge, was still only partly under my control.
So, more often than I like to admit, I sometimes drifted. I was easily distracted. I was easily bored. I missed the structure. I missed the sense of urgency that the presence of other people helps foster.
Then I took a step back and thought about my most productive days. Not just the days I got a lot of things done, but the days I also got a lot of the right things done.
They all had one thing in common: A mission. An outcome, a deliverable—something tangible that created a real sense of purpose.
If you’re struggling to work as effectively from home—or if your employees are struggling to work as effectively from home—shift from focusing on tasks to focusing on outcomes. (Don’t worry; tasks are the foundation of outcomes.)
Before you end your workday, list what you need to get done tomorrow and determine the single most important thing you need to get done tomorrow.
Then, before you step away, set up your workspace (which, if like mine, is simply your computer desktop) so you can hit the ground running the next day. Have the reports you need open. Have the notes you need handy. Make sure the questions you need answered already have answers.
Then sit down and dive in.
And commit to completing everything you need to get done. Allowing yourself to give in to excuses, rationalizations, etc. is a slippery slope—and becomes a habit extremely hard to break.
But will be less of a problem when you get your most important task done right away. Starting your day with a productive bang naturally creates the momentum and motivation you need to move on to whatever is next on the day’s outcome list.
And the next. And the next.
Because completing a task is fine, but achieving an important outcome is satisfying, fulfilling, and motivating.
So never forget: What matters is what you accomplish from wherever you work. Success has nothing to do with your desk, or your chair, or your office space. (Today, my “office” is my backpack and my computer and wherever I feel like sitting.)
Success is all about what you achieve, and achievement always starts with knowing what you want to accomplish. And more importantly, why.
Jeff Haden is a keynote speaker, ghostwriter, LinkedIn Influencer, contributing editor to Inc., and the author of The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win.
Meet the Latino and Latina Power Houses that are gaining the world’s attention.
Patty Rodriguez is best known for her role as on-air talent for KIIS.FM’s morning show with Ryan Seacrest.
“I never saw myself on-the-air,” she tells HipLatina. After 13 years On Air With Ryan Seacrest, she finally became comfortable with telling stories of local heroes. “People on social media would always tell me, ‘oh you don’t have the voice for it’ and I guess I just believed it,” she adds. She didn’t pursue it for a long time because imposter syndrome was holding her back.
Mexican driver Sergio Pérez, also known as Checo Perez, has amassed more points than any other Mexican in the history of the F1. But Perez is yet to match his hero Pedro Rodriguez and take the chequered flag in first.
Perez recently committed to a long-term deal with Racing Point beyond 2021. Perez has been with the team since 2013, when he signed with the group, then called Force India. The group reformed as Racing Point in 2018.
“I feel very confident and very motivated with the team going forwards,” Perez said, “with how things are developing, with the future of this team, the potential I see.”
It was also recently announced that the Mexican Grand Prix, an FIA-sanctioned auto race held at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, in Mexico City, will stay on the F1 calendar for the next three seasons.
“It was great news,” Perez said of the renewal. “It’s a massive boost on my side to know that for the next three years I’ll be racing home. Three more years to have an opportunity to make the Mexicans very proud.”
The 2019 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year gala honored 23-time Latin GRAMMY and two-time GRAMMY-winning singer, composer, musician, and philanthropist Juanes for his creative artistry, unprecedented humanitarian efforts, support of rising artists, and philanthropic contributions to the world.
Juanes (born Juan Esteban Aristizábal Vásquez) is a Colombian musician whose solo debut album Fíjate Bien won three Latin Grammy Awards. According to his record label, Juanes has sold more than 15 million albums worldwide.
Silvio Horta, best known as an executive producer of the hit ABC television series Ugly Betty, died in January. He was 45. Horta was an American screenwriter and television producer widely noted for adapting the hit Colombian telenovela Yo soy Betty, la fea into the hit series, which ran 2006–2010. Horta served as head writer and executive producer of the series.
From the arts to activism, here are five Latina Woman that are making strides, breaking boundaries and that you should be paying attention to.
Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez
Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez is an American labor organizer and author. On August 12, 2019, Ramirez announced her intention to challenge incumbent United States Senator John Cornyn in the 2020 United States Senate election in Texas. Tzintzún began organizing with Latino immigrant workers in 2000 in Columbus, Ohio, and then moved to Texas. At graduating from University of Texas, Austin, she helped establish the Workers Defense Project (WDP), serving as its executive director from 2006 to 2016. Following the 2016 election, Ramirez launched Jolt, an organization that works to increase Latino voter turnout. Her bid for the Senate has been endorsed by New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Texas representative Joaquin Castro, and actor Alec Baldwin.
A rising star in the male-dominated world of urbano (Ozuna, J Balvin, Bad Bunny), Mariah Angeliq, who goes simply by her first name, is here to prove that the girls can be bosses, too. On debut single “Blah,” the Miami-born and raised singer of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent lets the men know that their money (and their bragging) don’t impress her much, while her latest track “Perreito” is dripping with swag as she boasts about stealing the show with her flow as the one that shoots and never fails.
Lineisy Montero Feliz
Lineisy Montero Feliz is Dominican model known for her work with Prada. She is also known for her natural Afro hair. She currently ranks as one of the “Top 50” models in the fashion industry by models.com, including Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Roberto Cavalli, Versace and Céline.
Rico Nasty is one of the leading voices in the current style of hip-hop that adopts elements from hardcore and punk rock. Rico released a new song in January titled “IDGAF;” it’s built around softly echoing electric piano sounds and finds the DMV rapper in melodious sing-song mode.
The singer announced the summer launch of her cosmetics company, Rare Beauty, via Instagram on Feb. 4. The cosmetics company shares a title with her most recent album of the same name.
“Guys, I’ve been working on this special project for two years and can officially say Rare Beauty is launching in @sephora stores in North America this summer,” she captioned in the Instagram video.
“I think Rare Beauty can be more than a beauty brand,” the singer says in the video. “I want us all to stop comparing ourselves to each other and start embracing our own uniqueness. You’re not defined by a photo, a like, or a comment. Rare Beauty isn’t about how other people see you. It’s about how you see yourself.”
Creator of the Latinx series, The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia, which debuted on Netflix in February?
Saved by the Bell icon?
Lopez is many things to many people—a modern-day Renaissance Man.
Currently, he’s rebooting Saved by the Bell—which stole the hearts of a generation during its run from 1989 to 1993—and overseeing the already-popular Ashley Garcia, about a teenage robotics engineer and rocket scientist who works for NASA.
Lopez said Saved by the Bell, which features many of the original cast members, is off to a rousing start.
“We’ve gotten great reviews,” he said. It’s a fun, charming, sweet show that shows us in a great light.”
Ashley Garcia is a different animal. There have been other programs about young geniuses (Doogie Howser, MD comes to mind), but this series features a Latina lead and layered storylines. For one thing, Ashley, who earned a PhD at 15, has a complicated relationship with her mother, so she moves from the East Coast to Pasadena to live with her uncle Vito, a high school football coach (Lopez made an appearance in the show’s pilot episode, as uncle Vito’s friend Nico).
“The actors have great charm and the whole show has gentle tween appeal with strong pro-girl messages,” a review in Common Sense Media stated.
Lopez is indeed a Renaissance story, and it traces back to Dick Clark, the original host of the iconic Bandstand and a staple in the lives of TV viewers.
“He persuaded me to look at myself as a brand, as a host,” Lopez, the 46-year-old husband and father of three, said. “He influenced me in a big way.”
Taking advice from a legend was a pivotal moment in Lopez’ career. It’s easier to list what he hasn’t done than what he has done.
Across many platforms, Lopez has served as a role model for Latino and Latina entertainers and entrepreneurs.
He prefers to lead by example. Becoming a powerhouse brand is what allowed him to create the groundbreaking Ashley Garcia.
“We need more people to tell our stories,” he said of the Latinx community. “And that comes from writers and producers.”
Asked about Latino values, he chuckled.
“I just celebrate good values,” he said. “Good values are good values. We raise our kids in a faith-based environment.”
Lopez, who in 2018 was baptized in the Jordan River, said his own faith plays an important role in his prosperity as well as his peace.
“It helps me be still,” he said. “It helps me be humble and focused. It balances me.”
Mario Lopez Jr. was born on October 10, 1973, in San Diego, California, to Elvira, a telephone company clerk, and Mario Sr., who worked for the municipality of National City. Lopez was raised in a large Catholic family of Mexican descent. He started to learn to dance at the age of 3, training in tap and jazz. He also did tumbling, karate, and wrestling at his local Boys and Girls Club when he was 7 years old.
A fitness fanatic to this day, he competed in wrestling in high school, placing second in the San Diego Section and seventh in the state of California in his senior year while attending Chula Vista High School, where he graduated in 1991.
Lopez was discovered by a talent agent at a recital when he was 10 years old and landed jobs in local ads and commercials.
In 1984, he appeared as younger brother Tomás in the short-lived ABC comedy series a.k.a. Pablo. That same year, he was cast as a drummer and dancer on Kids Incorporated for three seasons. In March 1987, he was cast as a guest star on the sitcom The Golden Girls as a Latino boy named Mario who faces deportation. He was cast in a small part in the movie Colors.
Then came his big break. In 1989, Lopez was cast as A.C. Slater in the hugely successful sitcom Saved by the Bell.
His career was off and running.
In 1997, Lopez starred as Olympic diver Greg Louganis in the television movie Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story. The following year, he was cast as Bobby Cruz in the USA Network series Pacific Blue. In In 2006, Lopez joined the cast of the daytime soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful, playing the role of Dr. Christian Ramirez.
In the fall of 2006, Lopez appeared on the third season of Dancing with the Stars, where he placed second in the competition and once again stole the hearts of women across the country.
Lopez began hosting Access Hollywood in 2019.
Asked about his most memorable interviews as a radio and TV host, he mentioned President Barack Obama.
“He knew who I was and that was pretty flattering,” Lopez said. “He’s very down to Earth and a cool guy. We talked about our kids.”
Lopez branched out to radio in the 1990s. Today, he hosts a nationally syndicated radio show, ON with Mario Lopez. In addition, he’s starred on Broadway and published three books: Mario Lopez Knockout Fitness, Extra Lean, and Mario and Baby Gia, about Lopez and his daughter.
At the end of the day, Lopez is a family man, a businessman, his own brand and an advocate for the advancement in all walks of life for Latinos.
Admirers often cite his heartthrob looks, but Lopez is all about hard work and… no excuses.
He recently cited the fact that Latinos are opening more small businesses than anyone in the United States. Not everyone can build a brand like Mario Lopez, but they can strive to be their best every day.
“No opportunity?” Lopez said, “We’ll make our own opportunities, and flourish!”
*Please be sure to check event websites for latest updates on postponements or cancellations due to COVID-19 precautions.