This year ten writers were selected and Leslie Valdes an NLMC/NHMC Writers Program alum was one of them. He has written for many popular animated series, including the first four seasons ofDora the Explorer
and Handy Manny
, as well as for foreign television (Pop Up, Olive; Shapes
) and film (Fei
). Leslie co-developed and served as head writer/producer for Disney Jr.'s Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
and in addition, has developed TV pilots for Disney Playhouse (Shin Shin
), Nickelodeon and Funline Animation. He's also written 10 children's books for Simon & Schuster and Simon Spotlight, including six Dora the Explorer
Leslie Valdes had this to say about being honored, "I'm truly honored to be among this year's Writers Access Project honorees. I'm hoping the recognition will help open doors in the industry for me and for other Latino writers. In fact, it was through the NHMC Television Writers Program that I learned how to write a professional-level television script, which in turn led to my writing a script that got me into the Disney/ABC Writing Fellowship, subsequently launching my TV writing career."