Donald Trump, 70, might be the self-proclaimed King of Twitter, especially at 3 am. Whatever. He’s running a distant second place compared to Antonio Arellano, 26, who uses social media outlets 24/7. And the boyish-looking broadcast journalist says that his internet passion has been a career game-changer.
Antonio Arellano works for ABC-affiliate Channel 13 in Houston, Texas and he has an interesting job title: Social Media Correspondent and Content Contributor. The position is a perfect fit for a very unique reporter who has garnered plenty of national attention. In this year’s TECLA Awards, an event sponsored by Telemundo that recognizes excellence in blogging, video and social media/digital marketing, Arellano was nominated as the Most Influential Latino on Twitter. That’s high praise when you consider the numerous Hispanic public figures in our hemisphere.
Needless to say, Antonio is a busy “hombre” these days in an election year. If he’s not covering local affairs like the sheriff’s debate (with a Latino candidate) or the Walk 2 Vote campaign with a live Facebook feed, the Mexico native is tweeting about Drake and the up-coming American Music Awards. He tweets about how famed actor Robert De Niro would love to “punch Trump in the face,” and that “The Donald” was involved in alleged illegal business activities in Cuba when the embargo was still in place. Arellano also uses Twitter to reflect on his thoughts for the day, favorite slogans and general comments in both English and Spanish, just to keep his followers in step.
“No hay que renegar. Simplemente hay que luchar,” he posted on a recent Tuesday. Here’s another wise quote:
“Never allow anyone’s negative criticisms discourage you. Remember, birds always pick at the best fruit.”
My favorite Arellano reflection is lengthy, although definitely spot on.
“Many times as a minority I don’t fit the mold, I don’t meet the requirements and I’m not what they’re looking for. But when I’m faced with rejection, I remember my ancestors. Instead of giving up, I create my own paths. I fight for my own dreams and challenge myself to overcome every hurdle.
“You see, for many people, a simple ‘no’ can mean the end of their career,” he continues. “However, for me ‘no’ is just the beginning. You always need to keep moving forward.”
Arellano was born in the small farming community of La Cinta, located outside Morelia, Michoacan. The town’s current population has dwindled to 286, with most of its younger residents leaving to seek better life. When Antonio was only three, he and his parents along with four siblings headed north of the border and settled in Houston, Texas. Then while Antonio was in the third grade, his family relocated to Dalton, Georgia, home to many Hispanic immigrants who found work in the floor-covering industry.
While the Arellano clan managed to keep food on the table, Dalton was no place for progressive dreamers to expand their interests in the arts or other specific fields. So when Antonio finished high school, he persuaded mom and pop on a move back to Houston, a large Hispanic-oriented city where a communications career presented much better odds.
“Right after the (graduation) ceremony, my dad had a U-Haul hooked up to our car in the school parking lot and we were on the road,” recalls Antonio. “It’s incredible how much my parents have sacrificed for my future, and I’ve always been determined to make them proud.”
Indeed, Antonio is the only family member to receive a college education, attending the University of Houston -Clear Lake and currently working on his BA degree. He would first intern for a local radio station, Hot 95.7, and later worked for the Houston Chronicle, which has the third largest Sunday circulation in the country. Always confident and articulate, Arellano thought he had found his niche upon accepting a job to host a live streaming show every Friday morning on CBBA Radio.com. As producer of the hour-long broadcast, Arellano discussed local and national politics plus pop culture from a millennial point of view, and called his own shots. Then Channel 13 came calling, and Antonio was presented with an offer he couldn’t refuse. His last show with CBBA was on September 30th, the same day he signed on with ABC.
“I had to make a very personal decision to leave CBBA and embark on a journey with ABC,” notes Arellano. “It gives me the hope of reaching a larger audience and making a bigger impact on my community and my generation.”
Just a simple conversation with Arellano is invigorating. He’s like a magnet that creates energy and inspires folks to come out and speak their mind. While he favors the progress of several human rights organizations, Antonio never mixes personal agendas with his reporting. Integrity is important because that’s the way he was raised. As for any advise he can offer fellow millennials, the message is powerful.
“Dare to fail and don’t be afraid to take the risk,” reflects Antonio. “Sell your image and the determination that drives you.”
Those are inspiring words from a young man with humble beginnings. Antonio Arellano is a true American success story, and he’s still climbing the ladder to achieve loftier goals in the years ahead.