Most Chicagoans know, and many New Yorkers remember, Zoraida Sambolin as a successful television reporter. In Chicago, she is the Weekday Edition co-anchor of NBC5 News Today. She had a similar role with CNN in the Big Apple.
But when she addressed the crowd at Metro Advancement Council’s Twentieth Annual Luncheon at the Union League Club of Chicago, she was much more than a journalist, reporter and anchor. She was there as a woman whose life had been filled with obstacles—from serious health problems to professional challenges. She was there to talk about the importance of mentors in one’s life, and determination and dreams. And she was there to remind the audience of the importance of family.
Her poise at the podium and on television belied the personal and professional challenges she overcame.
“Fear,” she said, “can be a great motivator. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer I was in New York but knew I had to come home to Chicago to face it with family nearby.
“Life’s journeys can be bumpy and disappointing. But you learn to overcome.”
Zoraida, who has two nephews at the Midtown Center for boys, said, “the first time I walked in the door at Metro, I felt something special.” And that something has led her to be a strong supporter of the Midtown and Metro experience for the students whose poverty and academic inertia might otherwise keep them from realizing their potential.
Perhaps what’s most telling about her view on life is her NBC5 Facebook page where she describes herself as “mom, wife and breast cancer survivor” in that order.
MEF would like to thank Jim Dudas for contributing this article and photos as part of our coverage of the MAC Luncheon. To read Jim's contribution on Metro alumna, Isabel Hernandez' presentation at the Luncheon, please click HERE.