ABC 7 Chicago to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month kick-off begins when host Theresa Gutierrez brings viewers all the pageantry of the "26th Street Mexican Independence Parade" in HD, Sunday, September 14th at 11:35 p.m-12:35 a.m. ABC 7 News' Roz Varon, Karen Jordan, Steve Dolinsky and Michelle Gallardo will join in the festivities as they ride atop the ABC 7 float. The ABC 7 broadcast of the parade will be available on-demand at

Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month on ABC 7 News, Theresa Gutierrez will feature special reports that "find the beat and soul of the Latino community through music, food, dance, art and people. In addition, members of the ABC 7 News team will host vignettes spotlighting outstanding teachers that will air from September 15-October 15 on ABC 7.

ABC 7 will present a special Hispanic Heritage Month edition of the Emmy Award winning series, "THE Ñ BEAT," hosted by Theresa Gutierrez.

The half-hour program will examine the successful educational programs serving the Hispanic community, tracking how grassroots efforts have helped create quality education Saturday, September 27th AT 6:30 p.m. on ABC 7. An encore presentation will air Sunday, October 12 at 12:30 p.m.

One of the groups featured on "THE Ñ BEAT," the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO), continues its mission to bring educational excellence to underserved communities. UNO is opening its 6th charter school this year in the Latino community and has an impressive history of success.

Cristo Rey High School, located in the heart of the Pilsen community, is a Jesuit run school that has students working to pay 65 percent of their tuition. Internships have been established at Fortune 500 companies throughout the city that provide these students with a structured work environment and income to continue their secondary education.

In May, 2001, parents of the Lawndale neighborhood went on a 17 day hunger strike to get a new high school built for their children. Seven years later, the Little Village High School Campus, now part of the community, is a symbol of their resolve. Today, the campus houses four distinct schools including a math and science academy and Chicago's only social justice high school.

The Marine Military Academy at Grant, serving as a model of leadership training in progress, is just one more example of the options available for high school students.

"THE Ñ BEAT" has been part of the ABC 7 lineup for the past ten years. It serves as a venue to showcase Chicago Latinos who are working to make a difference, giving them an opportunity to share their personal stories.

Edgar Vargas is the producer of "THE Ñ BEAT."

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