Eva Jacqueline Longoria Bastón is an American actress, producer, director, activist, and entrepreneur. As a beauty pageant contestant in her youth, she got her first break in show business with a regular role on “The Young and the Restless” from 2001 to 2003 before landing the big hit with a lead role in “Desperate Housewives”.
She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology at Texas A&M University-Kingsville and further received her Master’s degree in Chicano Studies from California State University, Northridge. In May 2013, following three years of study, she wrote her thesis titled, “Success STEMS from Diversity: The Value of Latinas in STEM Careers.”
Here are 5 other things you should know about Eva.
- Eva Longoria is an unrepentant in philanthropist. In 2006, Longoria founded Eva’s Heroes, a charity which helps developmentally disabled children. She is also the national spokesperson for PADRES Contra El Cancer, a non-profit organization committed to improving the quality of life for children and young adults with cancer and their family members and also supports the Clothes Off Our Back Foundation, Omni Peace, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the National Stroke Association, Project HOME and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Her work in philantropy earned her “Philanthropist of the Year” in 2009 by The Hollywood Reporter for “her commitment to Latino causes and giving back to the community”. She was also listed by a UK-based company- Richtopia at number 42 in the list of 200 Most Influential Philanthropists and Social Entrepreneurs Worldwide.
- Longoria has a keen interest in immigration. She accompanied a border patrol in Arizona and has immersed herself fully into understanding the Mexican and the U.S. points of view when it comes to immigration and it’s attendant effects. She is the executive producer of Shine Global Inc.’s documentary, “The Harvest” which is focused on the 500,000 child migrant farm workers in the U.S. and promotes awareness and support to enact the Children’s Act for Responsible Employment (CARE Act)
- Eva also runs a second foundation called the “Eva Longoria Foundation”, which aims to close the education gap plaguing Latinas and confront Latino poverty. It also supports programs which help Latinas excel in school, attend colleges and equips Latina entrepreneurs with trainings, mentorship, capital and opportunity. The foundation offers a nine-week “parent engagement” course to help Latino parents and also flagged a mentorship program for Latinas as well as other extracurricular activities.
- Longoria uses her voice to preach political involvement and awareness: In 2012, Longoria was one of seven Californians appointed to co-chair Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. On September 6, she spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention where she endorsed President Obama’s re-election. In May 2014, she initiated the Latino Victory Project to raise funds for candidates to get into office. As an executive producer of the documentaries The Harvest and Food Chains, she is a supporter of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a worker-based human rights organization internationally recognized for its achievements in the fields of social responsibility, human trafficking, and gender-based violence at work.
- Longoria is African: According to DNA testing, Longoria’s overall genetic ancestry is 70% European, 27% Asian and Indigenous, and 3% African. Yep! Something had to account for her resilience and multiple innovation. We definitely love the Africanness in Eva, you should too.