Women in Entertainment Mentorship Class Photo: Meet The Hollywood Reporter's New Mentees Class of 2020

Women in Entertainment Mentorship Class Photo - Photographed by Jai Lennard - H 2019
Photographed by Jai Lennard

Eighteen high school students gather with the outgoing 2019 class, seven of whom were recipients Dec. 11 of $1.6 million in scholarships from Netflix, Spotify and others.

When you're raised in South Central, you get used to witnessing components of death and violence early on," wrote Trinity (39) in an essay that helped land her a $100,000 scholarship, awarded Dec. 11 at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Women in Entertainment gala, presented by Lifetime. "I'm accustomed to the deafening sound of bullets ripping through the air and going straight into my home," continued the high school senior, who's been mentored by HBO's Chika Chukudebelu. "I'm accustomed to having my long-awaited slumber abruptly disturbed by helicopters hovering above my backyard. But I've never assimilated to these conditions; instead, I've always been driven by my intellectual curiosity."

Trinity received the first Spotify scholarship, presented by music stars John Legend and Maggie Rogers. She was joined by six other scholarship winners, all hailing from THR's WIE Mentorship Program, Class of 2019 (pictured here with the Class of 2020). They won three full rides to Loyola Marymount University (worth $250,000 each) and four worth $100,000 apiece.

The scholarships were funded by industry icon Sherry Lansing; CAA partner Bryan Lourd (2) and actress Billie Lourd; Netflix; Spotify; and Chuck Lorre (35). A new Angels Scholarship came from attorney Nina Shaw, writer Melissa Blake and Shark Tank's Lori Greiner (53).

In addition, Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and wife Marilyn announced a $100,000 gift to help the mentees and the Wasserman Foundation provided all the girls with laptop computers.

"My mom became very ill when I was 11 years old, to the point where she could not walk," wrote Natalie (26) (mentored by SAG's Kathy Connell), who won the Lourd-funded Carrie Fisher Scholarship, named for Billie's mother. "Because of this, I didn't really get to have the whole childhood experience."

Perhaps the luckiest scholarship recipient was Priscilla (21) (mentored by WME's Elyse Scherz), who's expected to be her high school valedictorian. When Netflix's Lisa Taback and Nina Wolarsky read her essay — even though they'd already selected a student — they sent off a few texts and came up with an additional $100,000 for that young woman, giving her a shot at her dream: attending Yale in the fall.

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1 The Hollywood Reporter's Matthew Belloni 2 CAA's Bryan Lourd 3 Universal's Cristen Carr Strubbe 4 Torraynce 5 Rachel 6 Diana 7 Mhret 8 Clarissa 9 Celine 10 Ruby 11 Angela 12 Sony's Stacy Green 13 Wendy 14 Erika 15 Emely 16 Jessica 17 Miranda 18 Ricel 19 Lianne 20 Sabrina 21 Priscilla 22 Wynda 23 Emely 24 LMU's John Baker 25 Bianca 26 Natalie 27 Samantha 28 Gissel 29 Joanna 30 THR's Deanna Brown 31 Celine 32 Leyna 33 Gracie 34 Jessica 35 Producer Chuck Lorre 36 Big Brothers Big Sisters' Brock Moseley 37 Katherine 38 Nyslai 39 Trinity 40 Destiny 41 LMU's Tim Snyder 42 Marcela 43 Kalis 44 Brenda 45 LMU's Peggy Rajski 46 Lorre Foundation's Trisha Cardoso 47 Elizabeth 48 Big Brothers Big Sisters' Debbie Martinez 49 CNN's Carol Costello 50 Wilmie 51 Breanna 52 Desiree 53 Entrepreneur Lori Greiner 54 THR's Stephen Galloway 55 Katherine 56 Kate 57 Andrea

This story first appeared in the Dec. 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.