Stella M. Chavez

Stella M. Chavez

Quick Facts on Stella M. Chavez

  • Born and raised in Waxahachie, Texas, a small town about 30 minutes south of Dallas
  • Credits her father for developing her passion for journalism. A Mexican immigrant, he learned English by reading The Dallas Morning News and The Waxahachie Daily Light
  • Enrolls in The University of Texas at Austin to study journalism; her father often sends her newspaper articles of interest, teaching her always to be curious and pay attention to details
  • Graduates from UT in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism
  • Begins working at The (Lakeland) Ledger covering small towns in Polk County, Fla., and the migrant-farm-worker community
  • Writes the paper’s first weekly column about diversity called Faces of Polk
  • Joins the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, where she covers local government and immigrant communities. Helps cover the Elian Gonzalez saga and the 2000 presidential election controversy
  • Becomes a staff writer at The Dallas Morning News, where she covers education with an emphasis on immigration issues; also covers municipal government and writes columns about the effect her father’s stroke has had on her family
  • Creates a seven-part series “Yolanda’s Crossing,” published in December 2006, along with reporter Paul Meyer and photographer Lara Solt. The story reconstructs the journey of a young Mexican sexual-abuse victim across 5,000 miles from a small Oaxacan village through the Southern United States and into Dallas
  • Receives numerous accolades for the series, including the Livingston Award for Young Journalists, the DART Award for Excellence in Reporting on Victims of Violence, the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism, the Associated Press Managing Editors International Perspective Award, and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists print feature award