Rachel Calderon admits to receiving high marks on her kindergarten report card in every area but one—under “self control,” her teacher wrote “likes to talk.” A fitting comment for a young girl who grew up to become a broadcast journalist and who, as an adult, strives to be a source of information and inspiration for those around her. Having worked at news stations in Wyoming, Michigan and California, Rachel spent 19 months as a stay-at-home mom to son Tyson (now 2 years old) before returning to the news last year.
Dedicated to living life with a purpose, Rachel recently joined the Team in Training (TNT) program for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, raised over $7,500 and completed her first endurance run in honor of her mother’s successful battle against multiple myeloma. “What started out as a way to show gratitude and honor my mom turned into so much more,” Rachel explains. “I made some amazing friends through TNT, raised money for a worthy cause, and educated more people about blood cancers.” Here’s more about what keeps this mother of one working to make a difference:
What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about living a life of purpose. It’s important to spend time doing what you love because, if not, you are wasting time—and moms know how valuable time is.
How has motherhood changed you?
Becoming a mother has realigned my purpose and made me value myself. I want my son to be proud of the person I am and I want to provide him with inspiration.
How do you banish stress?
There’s nothing better than a mani-pedi.
What inspires you?
My husband Justin manages a full time job, a budding music career, MBA courses and, of course, the demands of marriage and a toddler. I’m in awe and inspired by his optimism and perseverance!
Along with your job as a mom, what do you do?
I have been a broadcast journalist for more than 12 years. Currently, I am the Traffic Anchor and General Assignment Reporter for KOCO Eyewitness News Five in the Morning.
What do you like most about your job?
No day is predictable. Just when I think I can plan out my day at work, a breaking news story might happen. That constant “on your toes” feeling is exciting.
What is on your wish list?
I have traveled to 40 of the 50 US states and dozens of countries in Europe and Asia, but I want to add Australia and South America to that list!
What are you most proud of?
I started a gratitude journal several years ago and I write down what I'm grateful for every day and put things into action.
What motivates you?
It’s easy for me to be motivated when I have a specific goal. It’s not enough for me to say “I just want to be happy;” I have to figure out what happy feels or looks like.
How do you find balance in your life?
It’s a constant challenge but I never give up trying. I chose my schedule because it offers me the option to do what I love, and be home for dinner with my husband and son. I grew up with both my parents at the dinner table, so when I decided to return to work, being home for dinner was my priority.
Advice for other moms?
Know that YOU MATTER. We often put our own needs last, so it’s easy to fall into that trap of feeling like what we do or who we are doesn’t matter.
Where are you from originally? What brought you to Oklahoma?
I grew up in St. Clair, Michigan and got my journalism degree from the University of Southern California. I moved to Oklahoma in 2011 when my husband’s job was transferred here.
What’s the biggest challenge in your life?
I sometimes feel insecurities about how I am doing with my family and work, but I just have to know I'm doing my best.
How do you help others?
I use my job as a journalist to tell stories of people who may teach us all something.
What is your parenting style?
I’m not a yeller, but I'm stern when I need to be. I also show him lots of affection and “I love you” is said many times each day.
Quick Facts About Rachel
- What are five words that describe you? Talkative, loyal, passionate, adventurous, purposeful.
- How do you spend time alone? Organizing photographs, reading or going for a run.
- What’s your favorite family outing? A quick breakfast at Jimmy's Egg, then the OKC Zoo or the Orr Family Farm.
- What’s always in your handbag? My cell phone, hand sanitizer, sunglasses and digital camera—just in case breaking news happens, I'm prepared!
- Coffee or tea? Coffee! Can't go a day without it since I'm at work at 3:30am!
Follow Rachel on Twitter at @RachelTRAFFIC
Brooke Barnett is the Assistant Editor of MetroFamily Magazine.