I have been a mentor to several undergraduate and graduate students of the University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA) through their UCLA ONE Mentorship Program since 2018. I have also mentored students in their Young Alumni Career Launchpad 2021, judged projects from the Competitive Strategy category at the Economics in Action conference, and served as a guest speaker and mentor for their Entertainment Networking Night and their Career Ready Bootcamp.
The Entertainment Networking Night is a prestigious event organized by the Student Alumni Association which provides students with the opportunity to learn about careers in the entertainment field by conversing with UCLA alumni who are professionals in the industry. The event offers an informal roundtable discussion where students can interact with alumni from various professions such as actors, producers, directors, writers, network executives, lawyers, and more.
The Young Alumni Career Launchpad is geared towards young professionals, 1-3 years out from graduation looking for a review of professional development basics and a community of like-minded Bruins navigating this season. This program is perfect for those that feel like they didn’t have the time to work on these skills as a student, and are looking to launch their professional career right.
In partnership UCLA/Alumni Career Programs and the UCLA Department of Economics hosts the Economics in Action Conference every quarter. The conference allows undergraduate students enrolled in various Economics courses to explore the real world implications of their coursework, while also practicing their team building, public speaking, and presentation skills.
The UCLA Career Ready Bootcamp 2022 - CRB is a three-day professional and career development experience designed for first-generation and transfer Bruins, open to all undergrads. The program is an intensive and interactive skill-building activity that includes peer-to-peer discussions, in-depth training, and feedback from mentors. The program aims to increase students' confidence in navigating their career journey and presenting themselves as a candidate for career-enhancing opportunities.
In addition, I also served as a scholarship reviewer for the 2021 Transfer Alumni Scholarship and the Community College Transfer Alumni Scholarships (CCTS). The CCTS is awarded to incoming transfer students based on merit. I have also reviewed applications for the 2019 UCLA True Bruin Distinguished Scholarship Award, which is a prestigious scholarship awarded to highly meritorious students who exemplify the True Bruin values of Integrity, Excellence, Accountability, Respect, and Service. The award recipients receive a $5,000 scholarship and are recognized and celebrated across campus. Additionally, I have reviewed applications for the 2019 UCLA Freshman Alumni Scholarships, which is a merit and leadership scholarship awarded through an application screening and interview process by alumni volunteers. The scholarship program awards students $4,000 to $20,000, paid in equal installments over four years.
The T-Howard Foundation is a non-profit organization that has been dedicated to promoting diversity in all areas of the entertainment industry since 1993. As of 2021, I have been serving as a mentor for students from the New York Fashion Institute of Technology, the University of North Carolina at UNC-Chapel Hill, and an American University CLEG student who wish to pursue an internship in the media industry. I provide additional training and support throughout the 7 to 8-week internship program. The program this summer had over 180 interns across 45 media and entertainment companies, including ViacomCBS, NBCUniversal, Warner Media, Discovery, BBC Studios, and others. The program comprised mainly of women and BIPOC at 79% and offered a great opportunity for students to gain experience in the industry.
AICP is a national trade organization that offers its member companies numerous services and benefits. It exclusively represents the interests of independent companies that specialize in the production and post-production of commercials in various media such as film, video, and digital, for advertisers and agencies. The association has national offices in New York and Los Angeles, as well as regional chapters across the country, serving as a strong collective voice for this $5 billion-plus industry.
Founded in 1972, AICP assists its members by disseminating information, representing production and post-production companies within the advertising community in business circles, in labor negotiations and dealing with employment issues, and before governmental officials. It also develops industry standards and tools, provides professional development, and markets American production and post-production via events and awards shows.
AICP members account for 85 percent of all domestic commercials aired nationally on all media platforms. AICP members include commercial production and post-production companies (General Members) and knowledgeable, reliable suppliers (Associate Members) that the industry depends on for state-of-the-art equipment, information, and services focused on production and post-production needs.
With my strong background in the advertising industry, especially internationally from the agency side, and domestically as a producer, I was selected for the AICP Mentoring Program, created to promote the growth and development of Members and Mentors. This nine-month program connects seasoned leaders with aspiring talent. The pair works together to identify and resolve key challenges that can benefit from the Mentor's experience. Each Mentor and Mentee commits to a one-hour phone call once a month for nine months. An introductory session will kick off the program, and a series of workshops for Mentees will be held throughout the program cycle.
I have been selected as one of the top 40 applicants approved for the Future Now Leadership Incubator program. The Future Now Media Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)3 charitable non-profit organization dedicated to building future leaders in the media and entertainment industry. As a leadership incubator, they engage, mentor, train and connect college and graduate students, as well as recent graduates, to become the best and brightest future leaders in every sector of the media and entertainment industry, including business, content, and technology.
Accepted as one of the participants of Accessible+ (A+) 2nd cohort, an immersion opportunity for BIPOC people with disabilities to experience the Coachella Festival, build community, and come together to discuss festival accessibility and learn about professional opportunities in the live event industry. I had the opportunity to be mentored by GoldenVoice's Director of Festivals and photograph the Main Stage from the pit.
As the first of our kind, as we are led by experts and leaders who are a part of the disabled BIPOC community. Our leaders are committed to ensuring the disabled BIPOC community is both represented by, and in charge of their own narratives. Our mission is to amplify the intersectionality of BIPOC people with disabilities by providing a unique opportunity to participate in the Festival experience. Harnessing the passion of individuals who are often marginalized, we will create a path of discovery and an invitation to be a part of the larger festival cultures.
We will provide an immersion opportunity for participants with disabilities to camp, partake and learn through an engaged experience exploring what it means and takes to be a part of the Festival. We aim to create a safe environment and foster community building within our participant group and amongst the greater BIPOC disabled community at the show. The A+ program includes:
- Participants are invited to the Festival and will be provided with a safe space to network and engage with other participants as well as opportunities to engage with festival leaders and learn about the many departments that produce the Festival.
- Exclusive programming that showcases the history of the Coachella Festival and its operations. Through specialized programming, participants gain professional insights, participate in career exploration opportunities, and network with industry leaders.
- TThe program will create a unique opportunity for our participants to learn about the different careers involved in live music events and paid opportunities to work festivals in the future.
- Most of the expenses associated with participation in this program will be covered by the Festival.
- VIP access to most of the activations on the festival grounds.
I have been chosen as a mentee for the 2022-2023 Mentorship program of the Group Effort Initiative (GEI). Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively launched GEI in August 2020, and it is financed through their companies Maximum Effort and B for Effort. The primary aim of GEI is to create a pathway for individuals from underrepresented communities to gain valuable experience and build lasting careers within the entertainment industry.
MBS Illumination Training
I was fortunate to receive mentorship from members of Local 80 and Local 728, which ultimately led to an invitation from GEI to participate in their MBS Illumination training program. This experience provided me with an in-depth understanding of the grip and electric craft on a film set. The MBS Group operates some of the entertainment industry's most iconic independent studio lots.
Disney Back to One
I have been participating in an ongoing series of one-on-one panels with senior executives of The Walt Disney Company since November 2023. I was invited to be a participant in these panels by both MBS and GEI. The panels cover various processes and departments related to film and TV production.
The Get Ready Venture Program is a 12-week intensive training program aimed at helping women of color business owners acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, training, and mentorship to gain access to capital. I am honored to have been selected by Ally Bank and Fearless Foundation as one of the top 50 WOC business owners to participate in this training cohort. Some of the topics we covered included venture education, preparing for investment, product/market fit, preparing for diligence, raising capital, securing grants, marketing, branding, and much more.