Hispanic Hero Awards: Sonia Corrales—In Her Own Words

Photo: Al Torres Photography, courtesy of Comcast

In conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month 2021, which occurs each year from September 15 through October 15, Comcast is honoring 8 Hispanic community volunteers who have demonstrated their commitment to Houston, its community organizations, and more. We’ve partnered with Comcast to highlight all 8 honorees and share a little bit about them, living in Houston, and giving back, all in their own words.

Now in its sixth year, Comcast’s Hispanic Hero Awards recognizes individuals who have served as forces for change in the community and also helps to celebrate Houston’s renowned diversity.

“We are inspired by the accomplishments and passion of each of these honorees and honored to be able to shine a light on all they do to make a difference to so many,” said Ralph Martinez, senior vice president for Comcast’s Houston region.

Today, we’re pleased to partner with Comcast to spotlight Sonia Corrales.

The Houston Area Women’s Center‘s chief program officer, Sonia Corrales has worked in the field of domestic and sexual violence for 29 years.

Specializing in anti-violence work, Corrales has served on numerous local, state, and national boards and/or committees including Houston Sexual Assault Kit Task Force, Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, Health and Human Services Commission-Task Force to Address the Relationship Between Domestic Violence and Child Abuse and Neglect, the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Reporting Act  Working Group (SAFER), the Mayor’s Commission Against Gun Violence, the Texas Teleforensic Remote Assistance Center (Tex-TRAC), UHD Advisory Board for the Master’s of Nonprofit Management, Harris County Public Defender Board, and the Independent Houston Police Oversight Board.   

A graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso, She’s also an alumni of Leadership Houston Class XXVI, American Leadership Forum-Criminal Justice Class 4, and of the Bank of America Neighborhood Excellence Leadership Program and Center for Houston’s Future, and of Latinos for Education.  

She was the 2016 TAASA Advocate of the Year, a 2018 honoree of the Houston Business Journal Women Who Mean Business award, and the Houston Texans’ 2019 Campeon de La Comunidad.

Learn more about Corrales’ career, community engagement, and work to help end domestic and sexual violence on Comcast’s local Houston website and in the video below.

In Her Own Words: Sonia Corrales

We also asked Corrales to share some additional thoughts on her community involvement and life in Houston.

On her favorite way to give back in Houston…

“I work for a nonprofit and understand that we must rely heavily on public support. I am lucky to live in Houston because it is such an incredibly generous community. 

I love giving back in several ways, including donating my time (as a board member and volunteer, serving as a mentor, etc); making financial contributions; attending galas—which are also fun and a great way to get to know an organization.”

On the habit that has contributed most to her success…

“I strive to create a work-life balance to ensure that I am healthy both physically and emotionally. My passion, motivation, and investment in my work helps me be happier and more productive.”

On what her expectations for Houston in 2022

“I am mostly looking forward to a resilient recovery in Houston. I see 2022 as an opportunity for all sectors in Houston to transform how we think about our communities. At the Houston Area Women’s Center, we are documenting lessons learned on how we can serve survivors of domestic and sexual violence and how to continue to work with our partners to end violence.”

Advice to young and young-at-heart Houstonians who want to get involved in their communities…

“I have two daughters who are now college age, so I have practiced a lot…

  1. Build good relationships and communication is key. Learn active listening skills (attending, paraphrasing, reflection, summarizing). Active listening will help you understand other people’s perspectives before responding and helps build a culture of respect.  
  2. Find a mentor. And when you get the opportunity, pay it forward and mentor someone. 
  3. For young women of color, inclusion is not enough. Being invited to the table is not enough. Be yourself, speak up, keep showing up. Your perspective matters. The table has to be intersectional… Change the table. 
  4. Never forget that there are people who came before you who paved the way for you. Know that your actions are paving the way for those who come behind you.”

Finally, on her favorite Houston restaurant…

“My favorite restaurant is Taqueria del Sol located on Park Place in the southeast side of Houston near where I live. They have the best Mexican food in Houston, in my opinion, and I love that it’s a family-owned local business. Taqueria Del Sol not only adds character to our community, but they leave a positive impact.”

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