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Angel of radio talks education, pregnancy

The Monitor
February 19, 2005 | Kathryn Walson

Known as “el ángel de la radio,” or “the angel of radio,” Isabel Gómez-Bassols each day helps dozens of callers with their problems.

For many, the solution is getting an education.

“The message is, ‘Educate yourself.’ I don’t like victims,” the bilingual woman said in Spanish. “When a person finds a reason for living, success comes on its own.”

The woman more familiarly known as Doctora Isabel certainly knows success.

In her seventh year as host of a Miami-based Spanish-language radio program that airs on Radio Cadena Univision, Gómez-Bassols is a celebrity among Hispanics nationwide. The program receives about 40,000 calls a week. Her show airs locally from noon to 3 p.m. on KGBT La Tremenda 1530 AM.

Gómez-Bassols is currently on her first visit to the Rio Grande Valley.

She came for the sixth annual La Feria de la Mujer, happening 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the McAllen Civic Center on South 10th and Expressway 83 in McAllen. The event is free.

Gómez-Bassols broadcast her Friday show from McAllen’s Univision studio.

As the Latino national spokesperson for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Campaign, she also addressed hundreds of La Joya High School girls about preventing pregnancy.

The mother of four and grandmother of two, Gómez-Bassols has a doctorate in education and a bachelor’s and master’s degree in psychology.

Born in Cuba, she moved to the United States when she was 16. She said she was the only girl and only Hispanic in her physics class.

Gómez-Bassols first worked as a middle school biology teacher. She later studied psychology so she could help students with their problems. She led the department of psychological services at Miami-Dade County School District, the fourth-largest school district in the country.

Gómez-Bassols said the high school dropout rate among Hispanics concerns her.

“I am working for … the young people, who are the future of the country,” she said. “What is a child going to do without an education? … We have to do something.”

Although she doesn’t exactly consider herself an angel, Gómez-Bassols said she does hope to make a difference in people’s lives.

“I want to leave for my children and your children a world that’s better — a world where people can develop their potential,” she said.

Visit www.univision.com for more information.

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Kathryn Walson covers education and general assignments for The Monitor. You can reach her at (956) 683-4434.

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