UNICEF Prioritizes Female Education

Carmen Maria Montiel

An experienced television journalist and news anchor, Venezuela native Carmen Maria Montiel has held positions as a reporter for Telemundo-Houston and as a producer of syndicated videos for Ritmos Latinos. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Carmen Maria Montiel has served as on the board of directors for UNICEF since 2009.

UNICEF promotes the rights of children around the world through a number of initiatives, including multiple programs designed to eliminate educational barriers for young girls and achieve greater gender parity. UNICEF strives to empower young girls by advocating for changes in public policy. For example, the organization helped the Kenya Education sector plan include a section on girls’ education investment, and also helped enact policies in South Africa and Zambia that allow girls to return to school after giving birth. According to research, when girls return to secondary education, they earn an average of 25 percent higher wages later in life.

For more information about UNICEF’s educational interventions, visit http://www.unicef.org/education.


UNICEF Medical Teams Help Children in Unsettled Yemen

Carmen Maria Montiel

A former award-winning television journalist, Carmen María Montiel now engages in a wide range of philanthropic pursuits and holds advisory roles with various organizations. Carmen María Montiel currently holds a position on the board of directors for UNICEF.

UNICEF recently issued a press release to announce that diminishing health services in Yemen, caused by violence in the region, led UNICEF and its associates to increase delivery of vaccinations, nutrition screening, and additional life-saving medical treatments for millions of children impacted by the conflict. A UNICEF worker in Yemen explained that the organization’s staff and mobile teams have been working in extreme and life-threatening conditions to ensure that more children don’t perish from preventable diseases and malnutrition.

According to UNICEF, more than 16,000 children have received treatment for severe malnutrition and more than 40,000 children received polio and measles vaccinations since the conflict escalated in March 2015. The medical treatment has largely been completed by approximately 40 UNICEF-backed mobile health teams working to reach displaced populations throughout Yemen. In addition to vaccines and nutrition aid, the mobile health teams have served an estimated 10,000 pregnant women to ensure proper prenatal care and safe deliveries.

The Latino Learning Center’s Residential Electricity Education Program


After a successful career as a bilingual news anchor and producer, Carmen María Montiel currently contributes to organizations like Latino Learning Center in Houston. By leading various fundraising events, such as the 2015 Night with the Stars Gala, Carmen Maria Montiel helps support the Latino Learning Center’s programs.

The Latino Learning Center maintains a number of senior-assistance and educational programs, including the Residential Electricity Education Program. Through the 12-week training program, participants receive basic electrical training designed to help them enter the workforce in apprentice and entry-level positions. The vocational education program is delivered in a bilingual environment to accommodate students whose first language is Spanish while effectively preparing participants to meet a high demand for trained workers in the construction industry.

By emphasizing job-site safety, the Latino Learning Center’s Residential Electricity Education Program also helps prevent workplace accidents among residential construction workers. The program facilitates the educational process through interactive discussions, hands-on learning opportunities, and practical demonstrations.

Dedicated to delivering services to Houston residents from low-income communities, the organization’s Residential Electricity Education program addresses a lack of adult education services and creates a wide range of economic benefits. For example, the program improves the employability of formerly untrained workers, increases workers’ wage earning potential, and reduces the number of people in need of welfare support.

Virtuosi of Houston

Carmen Maria Montiel head shot


Carmen Maria Montiel earned praise from her peers and industry awards for her work as a journalist for the Spanish-language television station Telemundo Houston. Before becoming a professional journalist, she won the Miss Venezuela and Miss South America titles in 1984 and was second runner-up in that year’s Miss Universe Pageant. Carmen Maria Montiel donates a great deal of her time and expertise to a broad range of cultural and philanthropic activities, including the Miss Houston pageant, UNICEF, and Virtuosi of Houston.

A premier young artists chamber orchestra, Virtuosi of Houston was established in 1996 to expand the opportunities for gifted musicians in the 11- to 18-year-old age range to receive professional-level training and participate in meaningful public performances. At the same time, it significantly expanded the repertoire of chamber music available to Houston audiences.

Because Virtuosi of Houston is a chamber orchestra of 50 to 60 musicians (significantly smaller than a symphony orchestra or high school band), its members have the opportunity for more focused instruction and training. The smaller orchestra size also helps the musicians build confidence and leadership, as well as performance skills that might not develop so well in a larger orchestra.

The orchestra performs publicly three times during the season. During the five weeks prior to each concert, there are 10 rehearsals. At each rehearsal, one of the orchestra’s two maestros conducts the music, while the other works with individual musicians, helping them to perfect their technique on the various instruments they play.

Auditions for Virtuosi of Houston are held in the spring and fall of each year. More information about how to become a member, as well as more information about Virtuosi of Houston, is available on its website at http://www.virtuosiofhouston.org.

UNICEF Partnership Focuses on Helping Children through Technology

In a recent press release, UNICEF announced that it has partnered with ARM to advance the creation of innovative technologies that can overcome the obstacles stopping millions of families from receiving health and education services. The multiyear partnership is designed to help UNICEF deliver more rapid and comprehensive aid to children who are affected by mass urbanization, social barriers, and economic divides.

To begin the partnership, UNICEF and ARM united with frog, an international product strategy and design company, to launch the Wearables for Good challenge, which focuses on developing new devices that address child and maternal health issues in emerging economies. The UNICEF/ARM partnership has also established a longer-term plan to perform research in developing nations in an effort to assess and endorse market opportunities.

About the Author:

Carmen Maria Montiel

Over the course of her career as a television journalist, Carmen Maria Montiel served as a news anchor and producer for programs on stations like Telemundo-Houston and WKPT-TV ABC. Carmen Maria Montiel now focuses primarily on philanthropic pursuits and holds a number of leadership roles with charitable organizations, including a position on the Board of Directors of UNICEF.

Fund-Raising Events Support Latino Learning Center’s Housing Programs

Carmen Maria Montiel

Carmen Maria Montiel, who enjoyed a successful career as an award-winning bilingual television journalist, currently focuses her efforts on a wide range of philanthropic endeavors. Recently, Carmen Maria Montiel has led a number of events, such as the 2015 Night with the Stars Gala, for the Latino Learning Center in Houston.

These fund-raising events benefit seniors and citizens with disabilities by supporting the center’s various programs and services, including its housing initiatives. In response to a lack of affordable housing for seniors and adults with disabilities, the Latino Learning Center founded two communities, the Eastwood John Goldberg Apartments and the South Houston Vista Apartments.

The Eastwood John Goldberg Apartments were established in 2000 when seniors were rapidly being displaced due to rising property values in the East End. Comprised of 65 units, the senior housing community was completely filled within a week of opening and there remains a one-year waiting list. The housing project was formed through a $236,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank and a $3.6 million grant from the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development.

The South Houston Vista Apartments are located in a serene area near the City of South Houston, with the community’s 46 units nestled in a gated community. With a total of 22 one-bedroom units and 14 efficiencies, the apartments spread across one-story buildings that contain six to eight units.