Betty's Open Road
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New York, NY
Cuba, decisions, female, first generation, immigrant, judgement, mentor, Miami Herald, newspaper, resume, scholarship, tradition, unique
Betty Cortina grew up in a traditional Cuban family where girls where were expected to stay at home until they marry, but Betty knew there's was something bigger that was waiting for her. Betty was the first in her family to be born in the U.S., so she felt internal pressure to be "better" because her family had given her that opportunity. She wanted to do something that she genuinely cared about, and for Betty that was writing. In secrecy, Betty had applied for scholarships to colleges while in high school despite knowing her family wouldn't want her to go. Betty's perseverance paid off as she was soon offered a full ride to the University of Florida. Right away Betty knew she wanted to go into journalism although she knew she would have to work twice as hard as writing didn't come as naturally to her. After graduating the University of Florida, Betty joined the Miami Herald as a crime and politics reporter. In 1995, Betty left the newspaper to help launch several high-profile magazines including People Espanol and Oprah Winfrey's O. But in 2001, Betty realized that she often made choices in her life based on what would look good on a resume or what would look good to other people. After thinking about it, she decided to apply to Latina magazine, which at the time was still a small, growing publication. Many of the people in Betty's life thought she was making a bad choice, but for once, Betty wanted to do something that made her happy. After joining Latina, Betty had helped the magazine to grow into the largest Latino publication in the U.S.