Soledad O’ Brien, Journalist and CEO of Starfish Media Group, on Juggling It All
Soledad O’Brien – former CNN anchor for Starting Point – is now focusing on her production company Starfish Media Group.
Soledad O’Brien – former CNN anchor for Starting Point – is now focusing on her production company Starfish Media Group. Married with four children- Sofia, 13, Cecilia, 11, and 9-year-old twins Charles and Jackson – Soledad chats with Celebrity Baby Scoop about how her foundation, the Soledad O’Brien & Brad Raymond Foundation, helps young women in their educational endeavors, her role as a special correspondent for Al Jazeera America, and how “everyone’s definition of ‘having it all’ is different.”
CBS: You created the Soledad O’Brien & Brad Raymond Foundation that helps young women in their educational endeavors by giving them opportunities and resources they might not attain on their own. It’s such an amazing organization. What prompted you to start it?
SO: “I started the organization with my husband after Hurricane Katrina. We saw all these young women who were trying to figure out how they could move forward in their lives when they lost everything. They didn’t have money for college or any resources at all. We started by working with one young woman. My best friend said, ‘Listen, she needs a scholarship to go to the high school because the school is not working out well.’ We started taking on young women after that, and then, four years ago now, we decided that we would get an executive director and make the foundation really official. Now we have twenty-five girls that we’re sending to and through college, and they’re doing really well. It’s been a really wonderful experience. I think the main thing was seeing all this need and trying to figure out a way to help people. I think, as a reporter, when you’re knee-deep in some a kind of disaster, that’s very, very challenging.”
CBS: What do you think is your favorite part of being so involved in the organization? What are you the most proud of?
SO: “I think it’s just having really great relationships with young people. For example, one of our scholars is a young woman who is now a registered nurse. Before, she was considering dropping out of nursing school because her grandmother had gotten ill. One of our mentors also has a sixteen-year-old daughter who spent Thanksgiving with us. So I think we have all these great opportunities. One of our scholars, Eric, is also on the road to graduate and is now working at my media company. We have all these wonderful relationships with people, some of which aren’t scholars, some who are friend’s children who discovered the foundation, and some who are diligent young women who are in the foundation and have this great network of support, guidance, and help. I love being able to reach out to these women and help inspire them. I like helping them and I think that’s what my job is.”
CBS: Can you just tell us about your role as a special correspondent for Al Jazeera America?