Immigrant Success Story
Immigrant Success Story:
My immigrant success story: I have been a journalist for 20 years in front of the camera and behind the scenes.
But, getting here wasn’t easy.
The Early Years!
I’ve always had a vision of making an impact, using the spotlight to broadcast my message and being a voice for my community.
As a Christian-Armenian living in Iran, I witnessed a revolution, lived through a devastating war, and escaped terrifying political and religious persecution.
We landed in Germany where at the age of 13 I started my first business selling posters I would flip with the money I earned working at an ice cream shop. After two years in German, we arrived in the United States where life seemed full of promise but it proved to be full of challenges.
I found myself struggling to find ways to fit in two worlds; the ancient traditions of my ancestors and the tempting freedoms of the West. Confused, conflicted, and alone, I was often bullied, teased, and misunderstood.
In high school, I didn’t speak or understand English but was quickly recognized by the administration as a leader and was tasked to represent the immigrant student body. I that role, I discovered the power of story, context, and building relationships. During some of my darkest times, I had found purpose in being a conduit for other people’s voices and discovered I had the power to make an impact.
Perhaps it was my own life journey that drew me further into a career of storytelling and journalism. I feel very fortunate to be living in this country where I have the freedom of expression, opportunity, great education, and career, something as a woman in Iran, I would never have been able to pursue!
After graduating from the University of Southern California with a Communication Degree, I declared with a very thick Iranian-Armenian accent that I was going to be a television journalist.
“For someone whose English is her 4th language to want to pursue a career in broadcast journalism,” they said, “I lacked common sense.”
Immigrant Success Story: Award-Winning Journalist and Media Personality!
For more than a year and a half, I was rejected by every media job for which I applied. News Executives said, “You look too ethnic. Your features are too strong. Your accent sounds foreign. Your voice doesn’t sound smooth.”
Instead of giving up, I took jobs that got my foot in the door in the broadcast media industry. An internship let to fetching coffee for executives, to assisting reporters to finally a job as a writer. I used the leadership and relationship building skills I had learned in high school to build trust with some very important mentors. Eventually, a writing job led to a producing job and then to an on-air radio reporting job. It took nearly 20-years but I am proud to have paved the path to stardom as one of the very first Armenian-Americans in the broadcast news industry.
I always felt it my responsibility to use my voice to speak the truth when others couldn’t, to promote education when others didn’t, and to shine a spotlight on injustice when others wouldn’t.
I’ve worked as an award-winning journalist for CBS, ABC, FOX, and NBC; as a television personality and media expert who was featured in online and print magazines as well as television and radio shows, internationally and nationally including NBC’s “The Today Show” with Kathie Lee & Hoda and syndicated talk show, “The Nate Berkus Show.”
Along the way, my entrepreneurial spirit guided me to also build multiple businesses in real estate, motivational speaking (SilvaHarapetian.com), education in media (MediaMasteryInstitute.com), online marketing (EpicStorytellingAcademy.com/expert), video production (SilvaMediaGroup.com/expert), and brand ownership. I’ve written several books, one of which has landed me on the Amazon Best Selling Author list.
I firmly believe that sharing my unique life journey and telling my EPIC story of survival, tenacity and persistence publicly is what has contributed to my success.
My immigrant success story includes my success as an entrepreneur. My online businesses, Media Mastery Institute, Epic Storytelling Academy, Silva Media Group, help entrepreneurs amplify their impact in the world. I teach change-makers how to be storytellers and how to use the power of their voice to broadcast their message, live a purposeful life, and become an undeniable influence in business.
My team and I are experts at building a robust engine that puts your brand, business, book, the product on the map. My media company focuses on the strategic process of brand building, my video production company focuses on crafting the storytelling, public speaking, on-camera training, and producing the videos that will elevate your Google and YouTube boss rankings. But, what’s the point of having a robust online presence when you can’t flaunt it. That’s where my media company steps in and pushes your message out to the media making you the go-to-expert in your respective industry.
The imperfections in my life have given me the gifts to see other people’s unique stories; their EPIC failures and breakthroughs. It’s what makes me an EXPERT in crafting a message that creates a long-term memorable brand that is relevant and brings value to the people who want what you have.
I know you may think you are facing some challenges and that you are not ready to share your story with the world yet. But, I’m living proof that our obstacles and failures do not define us. Facing adversity and rising above it, are the stories of legends. It is up to us to share with the world how our unique journeys have made us who we are and at times even contribute to our success.
The world needs to hear about your journey and experiences. Your story matters, because real, authentic stories make an impact in the world. Your power lies in your ability to simply BE YOU. Your power lies in your ability to tell your story: You are one story away from changing your life and impacting someone else’s life and that my friends are worthy of the spotlight.
“The message spoke to me so deeply in terms of resilience and knowing that we all have everything we need within ourselves to make anything happen.”
“I was surprised and almost in tears about how the story moved and the connections it made with all of us individually in the audience. It really moved me.”
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