A mass communication student is the recipient of a national grant. The National Association of Hispanic Journalism selected Astrid D. Rivera, a junior from Puerto Rico, to attend a national convention in Fort Lauderdale. NAHJ is paying all the expenses for Rivera for the seven-day conference. “What an honor,” said Dr. Michael Ray Smith, chair of the mass communication department. “Astrid is the first student in our department to be selected for this competitive program.” Established in April 1984, NAHJ created a national voice and unified vision for all Hispanic journalists. The program will provide Rivera the opportunity to work with professional journalists, covering actual stories both at the convention and in the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., area, while producing three editions of a daily newspaper. “It is a pleasure for me to be part of this project because it will give me the opportunity to grow as a journalist,” said Rivera. According to Rivera, this experience will be just the beginning of her goals as a journalist. “I am just working in what I want; I knew I wanted to be a journalist since first grade,” said Astrid. “Being a Hispanic in United States has had its ups and downs. I am the minority, and I know I have to work harder than the majority because I came from another culture and I speak English as a second language,” she said. Rivera said her culture is one of the most important areas for her and she does not see that as an obstacle to achieve her dreams. “I know I have goals to achieve, new challenges to face and obstacles to overcome, but I am ready for it,” said Rivera.