Updated: November 15, 2010 12:25PM
Born and raised on the North Side of Chicago, Esther J. Cepeda started writing before her scribbles adequately conveyed her musings. She attended Lane Technical High School then went on to Southern Illinois University, earning a Bachelor's degree in journalism with minors in music and psychology.
After being awarded a full scholarship to the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, she studied Integrated Marketing Communications there before going into direct marketing and public relations for a variety of Chicago companies.
In 2002 Ms. Cepeda began teaching as a bilingual teacher in low-income grammar and high schools in the suburbs of Chicago while working toward a Master's degree in Special Education from Roosevelt University.
Before joining the Chicago Sun-Times in 2006, then becoming Chicago's first Latino metro columnist, Ms. Cepeda wrote about national and local politics and social issues for Illinois newspapers and magazines across the country.
Selected as a Columbia University 'Next Generation Project' American Assembly Fellow in 2007, Ms. Cepeda was recently named a National Fellow and in June 2008 convened with over one hundred nationally-selected young leaders at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars to strategize on U.S. Global Policy and the Future of International Institutions.
Ms. Cepeda’s columns from the Sun-Times and The Huffington Post can be read on www.600words.com, which is indexed and distributed by the Newstex Company, and BlogBurst Media. You can download "600 words" on Amazon's Kindle.
A member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, The Chicago Headline Club, and The Society of Professional Journalists, Ms. Cepeda is also a musician, singer, dancer and an artist. She currently studies the Korean art of sword fighting, and the piano and guitar.