One of the Coachella Valley's rising news anchors, Christina Pascucci, has many locals (and beyond) getting up at dawn to catch her early morning newscasts on NBC's KMIR 6.
Beyond the set of the Palm Desert-based station, Pascucci is well rounded in her personal life, taking aviation lessons and donating a lot of her time to a Big Sister program and The Palm Desert Rotary Club.
Pascucci hardly has a glamorous schedule. She rises out of bed just after midnight to make it into the KMIR offices by 1 a.m.
"I'm having a little difficulty managing the sleep schedule," Pascucci said. "But I see it's almost 5 p.m. and that means bed time for me soon."
Pascucci works on editing stories, producing news segments, and reading over copy before she goes live at 5 a.m., co-anchoring the two hour newscast that leads into the Today Show on KMIR, an NBC affiliate.
Pascucci said she loves her life here in Palm Desert.
"I think there is an unparalleled desire to help others in the Coachella Valley and I've seen this in my Palm Desert Rotary Club participation,'' she said. "People will really go out of their way to do nice things for others here and I love that."
Now Pascucci has set the bar high for herself in her professional life and that may be a result of spending a lot of time high in the air while learning to fly a plane and earn a pilot's license with Desert West Aviation, whom she says has become "like a second family to me."
"I admire Katie Couric, Barbara Walters and of course, Oprah Winfrey. I aspire to all their combined greatness," Pascucci said. "I believe you have to think big. If you really believe in yourself and what you are doing, you can achieve anything."
This is especially true for the USC Graduate who got a job right out of college a few years ago, when many said it would take her much longer.
"I paid my dues while I was in school. I worked for ATVN and got a lot of on-air experience. I was born to do this," Pascucci said.
Pascucci got her B.A. in International Business and also earned a B.S. in Spanish.
"Now I'm studying Mandarin. I think it is imperative to know the world market and economy today. When I was in Beijing in 2008, I felt it was very difficult to communicate not knowing the language. It's time to learn it," Pascucci said.
Pascucci said she enjoys and for happy hour, (in Palm Desert) for sushi, The Corktree, at the Mountain and both the Riviera Resort and Spa and Parker Hotels for dinner.
"I made s'mores at the Parker recently. Now, that's not on my 'approved foods' list, but who can resist a s'more once in a while?" Pascucci said, laughing.
Pascucci participates in the Big Brothers and Sisters Program and has a 14 year old girl that she spends time with regularly, along with her own 'daughter,' a four pound Pomeranian Chihuahua mix, Pascucci said.
There is a lot of buzz about Pascucci both in the immediate Palm Desert area, but also in Los Angeles and abroad, where many of her 'fans' watch her news reports on the KMIR6.com website and even clips of Pascucci are popping up on YouTube.