Tonight is another night for the books! I hadn’t seen my good friend, Valery Ortiz, in about four years. Val and I went to high school together and studied theatre, even though she graduated the year I was a freshman. After starting her studies at UCF, Val took off on a road trip to California and decided to make her stay permanent.
My friendship with her, for the most part, has been long-distance. The last time I had seen her was when my parents and I flew to California for my first NAHJ convention and we visited her in L.A.
Valery is a working actress. It’s taken her a lot of hard work to get to where she is now. She began her television career by hosting Nickelodeon’s “SPLAT!” and then was cast as “Jell-O” in the comedy “Date Movie.”
Afterwards, Valery was offered the role of Madison in The N series “South of Nowhere.”
Most recently, Valery is one of the leading ladies on the Web series, Diary of a Single Mom.
Aside her undisputed talent onstage and onscreen, Valery’s most striking characteristic is her engaging personality and her fierce loyalty to her friends and family. I always looked up to Val since high school, when she cast me in her student-directed play, “Encanto Latino.” She was like my big sister in an environment that was highly competitive and intimidating at times.
When I turned my Sweet 16, I invited a lot of my schoolmates to a big party at home. Val couldn’t make it at last minute– but she came to my house early to do my nails and help me get ready. I was so grateful to her, but that’s exactly the kind of person she is.
Val’s humble, selfless personality (she is constantly deflecting praise!) is a testament to her family’s awesomeness!
Although Val and her mom were already followers and supporters of my blog, I had the chance to talk about my goals for Holdin’ Out in more detail. I feel confident that she will do everything in her power to take this cause forward.
I wish Valery every success in life; she truly deserves it.
“You meet people who forget you. You forget people you meet. But sometimes you meet those people you can’t forget. Those are your ‘friends.’”