We had the good fortune of connecting with Cristina Melendez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cristina, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
My name is Cristina Meléndez and I was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico. My Puerto Rican identity is something I carry with pride. I am proud to be a Boricua. Whether it is through what I wear, the music I listen to, my self-expression… every part of who I am, I owe not only to my parents but to my island. Every year, I am blessed to engage in meaningful conversations and experiences with my family in Puerto Rico. Those moments are the ones that I cherish the most whenever I visit. Although Miami is my home, PR will always have my heart. When I think about the Puerto Ricans on the island and here in the states, I think of a community who are kind, hardworking, resilient, and selfless. We love to laugh, dance, and show love for our community regardless of the challenges we face. Being Puerto Rican has allowed me to become a proud, confident, and lively Latina who is still learning, growing and most importantly showing off that flag everywhere I go.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have been working as an on-air traffic reporter for Premiere Network’s Total Traffic & Weather Network (TTWN), part of iHeartMedia for a little over two years. Through this job, I have learned the value of time management, how to work under extremely stressful situations and how to compose my nerves into becoming a more confident on-air reporter. I can proudly say that I am one of two bilingual reporters in my department that has reported traffic for local and national radio and tv stations such as CBS, NBC, and Univision. At times, I also control the camera operations aboard our helicopter which is a little intimidating, but exciting nonetheless. Although this job is thrilling and has its perks, it does have its shocking moments as well. I have been exposed to several police chases, fatal accidents and live shootings. It never gets easier, but it is my job to give commuters breaking news and useful traffic information. I’m grateful I can provide daily reports to my listeners and it always warms my heart when I get a “I heard you on the radio!” text or message. I’m still learning and growing in this industry, but I’m excited to see what the future has in store for me.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to give a shoutout to my family and friends. I would not be here without their words of encouragement and their push for my success. I would also like to thank my alma mater, Florida International University; the experiences I had at FIU aided my transition into the “real world,” which I really appreciate. Mark Rosenberg and Isabel Green, you both had a tremendous impact on my undergraduate and current success, thank you. And a big shoutout to my employer iHeartMedia and TTWN! I acknowledge how fortunate I am to have a job right now and I am grateful to provide daily reports to South Florida commuters.
Finally – I want to give a shoutout to all WOMEN. Every single woman in my life has impacted me in the best way and I strive to do and be better because of them.