Sunday, October 20, 2013
AMERICA FERRERRA: A ROLE MODEL FOR TODAY'S YOUTH
When America Ferrerra was only 9 or 10, she would lie in bed and dream of walking the Red Carpet on her way to the Oscars to earn an Academy Award. She pictured herself in a beautiful gown, dripping in jewels. She has since learned that the diamonds are on loan and have to be returned, but she now knows that dreams can and do come true. She has won an Emmy, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award, ALMA and Imagen awards.
As a Latino child with five siblings and a single mom who worked long hours to feed and clothe her brood, Ferrerra had to take three buses for hours as a teenager to get the acting lessons she desperately wanted. She spoke recently at the 8th Annual Students Forum at the Quick Center on the campus of Fairfield University and her message was one of optimism and determination and self-directing your own destiny. As the star of the hit TV show "Ugly Betty," a recurring role on "The Good Wife," a veteran of two installments of "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" and the animated kids show "How to Train Your Dragon," she is most proud of her work on the documentary film "Half the Sky," a movie about turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide. In it, as in real life, a young girl overcomes obstacles and has served to inspire so many teens.
Currently an ambassador for Save the Children charities, she also encourages Latinos to vote (as well as all young people), and helps underprivileged children and families to a better life and education. Her passion for doing good works predominated her talk as she encouraged the mostly college aged audience to aim high and dream big.