By David Chavarria
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
The San Antonio Media Alliance Student Connection — an affiliate with the Alliance for Women in Media — is looking for recruits this fall.
SAMA Student Connect was created last fall at the University of the Incarnate Word in order for students in media to get the help and guidance needed to find the professional career they have been longing for, according to organizers.
SAMA is a student organization to the Alliance for Women in Media, a diverse community of women and men in media that demonstrates leadership and encourages career development in these individuals. AWM also provides scholarship opportunities to students studying media at any college or university in order for them to be one step closer to achieving their goals.
Mariana Veraza Bravo, a bilingual communication arts graduate from UIW, created the student organization for her capstone project. SAMA is the first and only student organization of its kind as it relates solely to AWM.
Veraza, now a reporter for Univision, has passed the torch to communication arts grad student Sidne Auvert who is the current president of the organization. Auvert is working on a master’s degree with a concentration in convergent media.
“SAMA is here to connect, rebuild and network students studying media,” Auvert said. We support, educate, and empower current, past and future media professionals.”
Some challenges being faced are lack of members to host events and fundraisers for
scholarships and hosting events to get students interested and involved with the
organization, she said.
Students are not only recruited from UIW but also from the University of Texas-San Antonio, St. Mary’s University, Our Lady of the Lake University and other local colleges. In order to join, students must pay monthly dues of $25 for all students still attending undergraduate school and $35 for those already graduated but still want to be a part of the group. Dues are used to host events and fundraisers such as the Media Olympics, which is put on and serviced by the AWM for media students to have some fun and interact with one another at the same time.
“We have so much fun at (the Media Olympics), and all the money we raise goes to scholarships for students,” Auvert said. “It’s kind of like Corporate Cup hosted in San Antonio, where the biggest corporations get together and play games and raise money for San Antonio Youth Sports.”
The main goals for the group as of now are strictly recruiting in order to rebuild its status and gain more students interested in making a difference for their lives and the lives of many fellow colleagues aiming for the same goal.
“We need to establish first before hosting more events,” Auvert said. “It’s all about who you know nowadays and it is especially important for us students to be able to go out in the real world and have a strong network and background of our field in order for us to succeed.
“It is quite a challenge for me to maintain my status as a student, be the president of SAMA, balance four other media-related jobs and my child, but it is so worth it. This organization has given so many students opportunities they may have not been able to get on their own and I am very proud to be in the position I am in.”