As the co-anchor of Univision’s popular news show Primer Impacto, Pamela Silva Conde now has money and fame. But she hasn’t forgotten the long, hard road behind her. She is constantly searching for new ways to repay the communities who helped her during the tough times.
Silva Conde never met her father, who died a day before she was born in a car accident. Her single mother, Rosario moved her to Miami, Florida, from her native Perú when Silva Conde was about 10. The family struggled financially and she worked as a teen to help pay the bills. “My first real job was at a fast food restaurant at the age of 15 and I have been working ever since,” the 36-year-old Peruvian journalist tells PEOPLE CHICA. “I think every job along the way teaches you something. You start to build discipline. I always took on every task with a lot of pride and dignity and aimed to be the very best.” Indeed, Silva Conde has earned multiple Emmys for her on-air reporting and investigative journalism.
Now that she is a successful TV anchor seen by millions around the world and has achieved her version of the American Dream, she is helping other young Latinos do the same. And she’s doing it through the communities and institutions where she received a boost.
The Pamela Silva Conde Scholarship is awarded every year to Hispanic students at Florida International University in Miami, her alma mater, so they too have a shot at reaching their full potential. “I know personally how hard it could be to have to balance school with several jobs,” says Silva Conde, who was the first in her family to earn a college degree. “I received a few scholarships and obtained help, and that’s why I wanted to show my gratitude by doing the same. The students receiving the scholarships are exemplary men and women who will be the first in their family to graduate from college. We are changing their lives and their families as well. I am beyond proud of them.”
The journalist also helps to raise money for Amigos for Kids, a nonprofit organization located in the Miami neighborhood she first moved into when she arrived in America. “Child abuse prevention is also a cause I’m very passionate about,” she says of the center, which is dedicated to protecting and supporting youth. “We provide after-school care programs. We want children to feel safe and most importantly, we want them to know that your socioeconomic level does not determine your destiny.” She also mentors those who go there and participates in toy and school-supply drives for them.
She says her mother Rosario was an inspiration. “My mother is the best example of hard work and solidarity. She was a single parent raising two girls in a country that wasn’t hers and yet she was always optimistic and willing to help others,” she recounts. “She’s a believer that everyone has the ability to help, and because of her, I’m a believer also.”