By Karen Cortés
NBC Connecticut News co-anchor Yvonne Nava and her weekday morning colleagues are refining their athletic skills in preparation for the London 2012 Olympics. They’re not going to London (that job is going to Sports Director Kevin Nathan), but the Games will be taking Yvonne on the road in Connecticut, as reporters go live with athletes across the state, and try their luck with Olympic sports– archery anyone?
Producers had better find local athletes who get up early, because Nava’s day starts with a 3:00 a.m. alarm, arriving at the station less than an hour later for scripts, make-up, and hair for a five o’clock broadcast. Not a simple schedule with a nearly two-year-old son and a husband who works opposite shifts! “It’s a tough schedule, but I love what I do. I’m done at 12:15, and I can spend all day with my son,” says Nava.
She got her start in the business in Texas when she was just 18. Nava’s mother, a school nurse, was featured in health segments for local public access TV. She would bring Nava to do English voice over work. A chance meeting between Nava and a Telemundo reporter on the scene at a local news event led her to reporting for Telemundo before she even started college.
Nava graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Business. In college, she was recognized by Hispanic magazine for being an outstanding role model for Latinas.
She once considered a career in accounting, but soon realized that the desk for her was not in an office. “My sister is a CPA, but I think it would be torture to sit at a desk. People feel a need to tell me their business, and I like to ask questions,” says Nava. She tried internships in print, radio and television, and has worked on the small screen ever since. She encourages young people to try a variety of internships to find the right career.
Outside of her busy work and family life, Nava devotes her time to mentoring young girls, the Connecticut chapter of the Lupus Foundation, Meals on Wheels, and Family Life Education of Hartford. Yvonne is also a strong supporter of the Latinas and Power Symposium which helps inspire Latinas to succeed.