The Rapidian

Andy Angelo Press Club meets Sonia Manzano

This month, students from the Andy Angelo Press Club were inspired by Latina actress and author Sonia Manzano, best known for her role as Maria on Sesame Street.
Sonia Manzano meets the Press Club students.

Sonia Manzano meets the Press Club students. /courtesy of the Andy Angelo Press Club

Sonia Manzano was one of the first Latina women on National TV.

Sonia Manzano was one of the first Latina women on National TV. /courtesy of the Andy Angelo Press Club

Manzano reads her children's book, "No Dogs Allowed."

Manzano reads her children's book, "No Dogs Allowed." /courtesy of the Andy Angelo Press Club

This October, the Cook Library Center hosted a presentation by actress and author Sonia Manzano. One of the first Latina women on television, Manzano is best known for her role as Maria on the Sesame Street. Students from the Andy Angelo Press Club were honored to attend this event, and prepared for the talk by researching Sonia's life and career. Here's what the students had to report:

Antonio, Age 12

Sonia Manzano was one of the first Latinas ever aired on national TV. When she was small, she lived in a poor neighborhood called the "Barrio." She described the barrio as dirty and [having] trash everywhere. When she was growing up, she never had pencils, paper or TV, but that didn't stop her. As she grew up, she went to a performing arts high school, and her passion for drama grew. During her life she has won many awards for being a [significant] Latina writer, actress, and speaker. 

Dulce, Age 12

Growing up, maybe you watched the famous TV show Sesame Street, featuring Sonia Manzano. Sonia Manzano takes the role of "Maria," a usual woman who eventually has a daughter in the show. Manzano didn't always have an easy life.

Growing up, Manzano had fascinatingly good grades that led her to be accepted into a high school where "gifted kids" went. When high school came around, she did terribly because everything was more difficult; she failed miserably. She performed to go to college, and got into Carnegie Mellon University.

Manzano was the first Hispanic [woman] on national TV, and she was inducted into the Bronx Hall of Fame. That's the most honorable award that can be given in the Bronx.

"She's my childhood dude," said Antonio. Manzano is admired by many children and teens. "I remember the episode when Sonia helped Rosita.  Sonia taught everyone that it wasn't right not to embrace a family member just because she couldn't speak English," said Magaly.

Edgar, Age 10

Sonia Manzano is an American actress. She has been in Sesame Street since 1971. Manzano was born on June 12, 1950. She is married to Richard Reagan. She has received many awards. The high school she attended was a special school for her. The university she attended was Carnegie Mellon University. Manzano has participated in a lot of movies and TV shows, including Sesame Street. The Andy Angelo Press Club got to meet Sonia Manzano, and for them it was an incredible experience. 

Chloe, Age 12

Sonia Manzano, also known as Maria from Sesame Street, was one of the first Latinas ever to be on national TV. She has been on TV for 40 years and counting. She went to the High School of Performing Arts, and her specialty was drama. Manzano traveled all the way from the Bronx, New York just to make an appearance at the Cook Library Center on Grandville Ave. She presented to the Andy Angelo Press Club on October 15. 

Donny, Age 12

On Tuesday, October 15, the Press Club went to go see Sonia Manzano (Maria from Sesame Street). They saw her in the Cook Library Center. Many people went to go see her.

Manzano was talking about her life as a child. She said that she did not speak Spanish. But she finally learned how to. Anyways, when she was young, she did not know what to do in life. In middle school, she had very high grades. In high school, she did not know what to do. Soon, she got her things straight and got a scholarship. She got to be one of the first Latina people to be on air. She is very proud of herself to be one of the first. 

Shirley, Age 10

You may not recognize [the name] Sonia Manzano, but you might recognize Maria from Sesame Street. On Tuesday, October 15, the Press Club went to go interview Sonia Manzano at the Cook Library Center. Her stage name is Maria. She was the first Latina on national TV. She also wrote a book called The Revolution of Ellen Serrano. When asked about her next project, Sonia said she is currently working on a book. 

Jose, Age 13

On Tuesday, October 15, the Press Club went to go to the Cook Library Center to meet Sonia Manzano, also know as Maria from Sesame Street. 

Sonia Manzano was one of the first Latina women on national television. When I saw her, only thing I had in mind was that she's actually in front of me- a person I used to watch when I was 5, and now she's in front of me, talking about her life!

Manzano would talk about her life, how hard it was for her know that only Caucasian people would appear on TV and no other types of people. When Manzano was growing up, she studied at the Performing Arts School and graduated [from that school as well]. She later on appeared in Sesame Street and became an award winning Latina writer, actress, and speaker. 

Manzano also appeared in a movies such as The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland and Sesame Street: Silly Storytime. She's even written books!

Dominic, Age 11

The Press Club went to go hear a speech by Sonia Manzano on October 15th at the Cook Arts Center. Manzano was the first Latina on national TV. The first show she was on was Sesame Street. Her stage name was Maria, a Latina women. She also wrote two books about her life.

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