GGC graduate wins Emmy Award

Georgia Gwinnett College President Daniel J. Kaufman always ends his comments at the institution’s commencement ceremonies by telling new graduates to, “Be great.”

Georgia Gwinnett College President Daniel J. Kaufman always ends his comments at the institution’s commencement ceremonies by telling new graduates to, “Be great.”

Class of 2011 graduate Homero Gonzalez took the directive seriously. At only 22, the Lawrenceville resident has won an Emmy.

Gonzalez is part of a team at Telemundo Atlanta that was awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement: Television News Gathering Excellence - News Special. The award recognized, "Special Series HB-87,” a four-part news series covering the controversial House Bill 87 that passed last year in Georgia. The series informed members of the Hispanic community about changes this law would bring to the state and how it would affect them.

Gonzalez’s team members included Reporter and Anchor Jorge Buzo and Reporter and News Producer Nataly Hart. Gonzalez is a news and marketing associate with Telemundo Atlanta. The team received the honor at the 2012 Southeast Emmy Awards, held recently at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Buckhead, June 9.

It was the first Emmy for Telemundo Atlanta.

“I feel very blessed to work with a team that supports me,” he said. “I didn’t think I could accomplish something like this so early in my career. Without GGC, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve any of this.”

A dedicated student leader in multiple student organizations, he served as vice president of the Student Government Association. He attended a summer study abroad program in Europe and participated in service projects. He even developed a reading program for Hispanic children. In 2010, he received the college’s Leadership Award.  He now serves as a charter member of the GGC Alumni Association Board.

A fortuitous, spur-of-the-moment request for Gonzalez to provide translation assistance for a Telemundo news crew attending a GGC event introduced the student to station employees. Impressed with his professionalism, they invited him to assist with some special projects. During the fall of his senior year at GGC, he was hired part-time as marketing assistant, then later as a full-time news and marketing associate assisting with the station’s launch of the 30-minute newscast, “Noticiero Telemundo Atlanta.”

“When I talk to young people, I tell them that they should be active when they go to college. Find ways to build your skills and experience, and make yourself known because you never know when an opportunity will lead you to greater things,” he said.

Gonzalez majored in business administration with a concentration in marketing, and someday plans to pursue a master’s degree, possibly in international business.

It’s hard to believe that during high school, Gonzalez was advised not to pursue college. He had struggled a bit with English as his second language, and he was told that his best option was to learn a trade.

“Homero is a shining example of what Georgia Gwinnett College was designed to do,” said Kaufman. “GGC’s access mission enables us to provide extra instruction to help students succeed. Once Homero became fluent in English, there was no stopping him. He was one of those ‘go-to’ students whose loss is felt by the entire campus community when they graduate. We could not be more proud of Homero’s Emmy, and expect more great things from him in the future.”

A first-generation student, Gonzalez’s experiences also inspired his own family. One brother is now a student at GGC and a younger brother plans to attend the college, as well.

“I appreciate the opportunity to serve as a role model for my community,” Gonzalez said. “It’s important for young people to know that if they work hard, they can succeed. Hard work does pay off.”

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