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There’s nothing more joyful at the annual Women in Entertainment breakfast than the moment when high school girls in THR’s 9-year-old Mentorship Program (a joint venture with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles that pairs juniors and seniors with Hollywood’s top female executives) discover who from their group has won a scholarship to Loyola Marymount University.
On Dec. 5, a record six full-ride scholarships — worth $250,000 apiece — were awarded to some of the outstanding students pictured above (the photo features all 20 of the 2018 mentees as well as 2019’s new class). Those scholarships came on top of the $10,000 each mentee was given by Lifetime and the Entertainment Industry Foundation. Each of this year’s 22 incoming mentees also received a MacBook Air laptop from the Wasserman Foundation.
The full-ride scholarships were possible thanks to the generosity of LMU, Shark Tank‘s Lori Greiner, prolific producer Chuck Lorre, Twitter, Lionsgate and Walt Disney Studios, which this year created a special Black Panther scholarship, presented to Kalis — an Inglewood student who dreams of becoming a pediatric dermatologist — by the film’s stars, Lupita Nyong’o, Chadwick Boseman and Danai Gurira. “We know that if we want to live in a world that looks more like Wakanda, the first step is: You invest in women and girls,” said Gurira, who received a loud round of applause from the audience.
“This is for girls who live in Compton, who live in Inglewood, and this is for girls and men who face adversities,” Kalis said when she received the scholarship. “We can do it, and it is possible.”
Thrilling as the scholarship presentation is, it can be painful too, because there’s never enough money for all the worthy mentees from underserved schools in South and East L.A. Once this year’s awards presentation was over, one student in desperate need of financial aid was left behind — until a new donor approached THR right after the breakfast and said he’d like to pay for a scholarship. That means not six but seven young women will be attending LMU in the fall and expanding their own vision of what’s possible.
Click the image below to see a larger version.
1 Shirleya 2 Lianne 3 Mhret 4 The Chuck Lorre Foundation’s Trisha Cardoso 5 Lauryn 6 Arianna 7 Jennifer 8 Samantha 9 Yvette 10 Elizabeth 11?Shark Tank’s Lori Greiner 12 Ricel 13 Joanna 14 Desiree 15 Alexandria 16 Lionsgate Television Group’s Sandra Stern 17 LMU’s Peggy Rajski 18 Business manager Laura Lizer 19 A+E Networks’ Abbe Raven 20 Josselyn 21 Yessenia 22 Diana 23 Joselyn 24 Breanna 25 Wilmie 26 Jazmin 27 Natalie 28 Katherine 29 A+E Networks’ Paul Buccieri 30 THR’s Stephen Galloway 31 Lionsgate’s Jon Feltheimer 32 Kalis 33 Paula 34 Trinity 35 Torraynce 36 Mia 37 Priscilla 38 Emily 39 Wendy 40 Zyrah 41 Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Nicole Sexton 42 LMU’s Timothy Law Snyder 43 Jennifer 44 Denise 45 Gissel 46 Rachel 47 Katherine 48 Andrea 49 Kate 50 Angelica 51 Teresa 52 Bianca 53 THR’s Matthew Belloni 54 Veronica
This story first appeared in the Dec. 18 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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