HSF Alumni Reception Series, coming to a city near you!
HSF is proud to announce its National Alumni Reception Series! Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with Alumni and a host of other distinguished groups and individuals who are laying the cornerstones of our future. This series will be traveling to New York, Dallas, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington DC.
Join us and learn what’s new, as HSF continues to advance higher education and achievement. Discover new ways to help. This year, the HSF alumni network is 38 years strong and includes accomplished professionals in a broad range of industries. We also continue to attract the growing participation of outstanding community organizations and leaders. All of you are the inspiration for a whole new generation of HSF Scholars. Be proud. Be there.
Univision Network Anchor María Elena Salinas, the most recognized Hispanic female journalist in the United States, reached a major milestone last year when she marked her 25th anniversary with Univision, the fifth largest television network in the U.S. and the country’s leading Spanish-language television broadcasting company. Called by the New York Times, “the voice of Hispanic America”, Salinas has informed millions of Hispanics in the United States and 18 countries in Latin America. As co-anchor of the highly rated “Noticiero Univision” and the primetime news magazine “Aqui y Ahora”, Salinas has handled some of the most challenging assignments in modern day journalism.
Salinas’ work has earned her several journalistic awards including three national and one regional Emmys. She was also part of the Univision news team that received the Edward R. Murrow Award for the network’s coverage of the Atlanta Olympic Park bombings. Salinas has reported from the White House to the Kremlin, from the O.J. Simpson trial in Los Angeles to the funeral of Princess Diana in London and from earthquake-ravaged El Salvador to the war torn streets of Baghdad. In the past 2 decades Salinas covered over a dozen papal trips including Pope John Paul II’s historic visit to Cuba and his moving funeral. She has also conducted several White House interviews with U.S. presidents, and been face to face with dozens of Latin American leaders, rebels, and dictators. In 2004 Salinas co- hosted the first ever bi-lingual national debate among democratic presidential hopefuls on Hispanic issues.
Salinas’ influence reaches beyond television. She also holds vast experience on national radio, and recently became one of the few Hispanic syndicated columnists in the United States in over 50 publications in both Spanish and English. In 2006, her autobiographical book entitled “I am my Father’s Daughter: A Life Without Secrets” was published, receiving critical acclaim and making the best seller lists for Spanish-language books on several occasions. Beyond her journalistic work, Salinas is also a tireless advocate for Hispanics in the United States. Her in-depth coverage of immigration reform has drawn accolades from government leaders and immigration advocates. On radio, she spearheaded a national campaign to motivate Hispanic students to stay in school. For the last 4 presidential elections, Salinas has led campaigns to promote citizenship, voter registration, and get out the vote efforts. She has worked with the U.S. Departments of Health and Education on issues ranging from the importance of immunization for young children, to the risks of heart disease and parental involvement in education. In 2000, Salinas launched a scholarship in her name to be awarded to a Hispanic journalism student interested in pursuing a career in Spanish language media.
Her brand of advocacy journalism has earned her awards and recognition from important groups such as the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, and the National Organization for Women that honored her with the coveted Intrepid Award. Salinas has been featured as one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics” in the United States in Hispanic Magazine and People En Español, and was named one of the top 15 Most Influential Hispanics among Latino voters in a poll conducted by Hispanic Voter Trends.
María Elena is a former vice president and founding member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, where she has been inducted into the Hall of Fame, and has been a featured speaker at media and women’s conferences throughout the country. Born in Los Angeles to Mexican immigrant parents, Salinas began her broadcasting career in radio in Southern California. She switched to television in 1981 when she joined KMEX-TV, the Univision station in Los Angeles, as a news anchor. Salinas resides in Coral Gables, Florida, with her two daughters, Julia Alexandra and Gabriela María.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Hispanic Scholarship Fund
Fidel A. Vargas is President and CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF). After serving on HSF’s Board of Directors from January 2010 through December 2012, he assumed leadership of the organization on January 2, 2013. Mr. Vargas sets HSF’s overall direction; develops and oversees the execution of strategy; leads the senior management team; plays an active, leadership role in development and outreach activities for all constituencies, and advocates for HSF, throughout the country.
Prior to joining HSF, Mr. Vargas was a Founding Partner of Centinela Capital Partners, an alternative asset management firm that invested nearly $1 billion in and alongside leading emerging private equity and venture capital funds. Prior to joining Centinela, Mr. Vargas was a Founding Principal and Managing Director of Reliant Equity Investors, a private equity investment firm investing in lower middle market companies. At the age of twenty-three, Mr. Vargas became the country’s youngest elected Mayor of a major city: Baldwin Park, California, with a population of 85,000, twenty miles northeast of Los Angeles.
In addition to having served on HSF’s Board of Directors prior to becoming its President and CEO, Mr. Vargas has served on a number of public and private sector boards and commissions, including: the New America Alliance; Sponsors for Educational Opportunities; Operation Hope, Inc.; President Clinton’s Advisory Council on Social Security; President Bush’s Commission on Strengthening Social Security; and Presidents Bush and Obama’s Commission on Presidential Scholars. He currently serves on the boards of the California Community Foundation, the Latino Donor Collaborative, and The Los Angeles Theatre Center.
Mr. Vargas has been recognized for his accomplishments by numerous organizations and media outlets, throughout his career. Time Magazine named him as one of the Top 50 Young Leaders in the United States, Hispanic Magazine named him one of the Top 30 Young Hispanics in the United States, he was named one of the country’s 100 most influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business Magazine and one of the 101 Most Influential Latinos by Latino Leaders magazine.
Mr. Vargas graduated with honors from Harvard University with an A.B. in Social Studies. He received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and General Management.
Mr. Vargas is the eldest of eight children and has three adult children. His parents emigrated from Mexico. His father, Fidel B. Vargas worked as a carpenter and his mother, Margarita Vargas raised her family and began a career as a community organizer after Fidel left for college and continues to serve her community as a local elected official. Fidel’s brothers and sisters attended UC Santa Cruz, George Washington University, La Verne University, Brown University, and UC Berkeley. He has a deep commitment to HSF, having been a six-time, HSF scholarship recipient.