THF Announces Scott Weiss Alumni Scholarship Recipients

Hyunjin Kim

Jin Kim (University of Michigan- Ann Arbor, Screen Arts & Cultures and Business Administration, ’18), THF ’16 and ’17, NBCUniversal

The T. Howard Foundation (THF) is excited to announce the recipients of the 2017 Scott Weiss Scholarship, an annual merit-based award granted to eligible alumni of THF’s Internship Program.

Now in its 18th year, the scholarship provides alumni financial assistance for their academic and career pursuits including tuition, textbooks and/or expenses related to career development, such as conferences and workshops that help prepare recipients for a career in the media and entertainment industry.

This year, THF awarded $15,000 in scholarships, with each recipient receiving $2500.

The Scott Weiss Scholarship is named after Scott Weiss, T. Howard Foundation founder and Chairman Emeritus. He is currently CEO and owner of Speakeasy, a THF host company.

2017 Scott Weiss Scholarship Award recipients are (including current institution, expected graduation year, THF internship Program year(s) and host company):

  • Tatiana Cadet (New York University, Public Relations and Corporate Communications, ’18), THF ’17, Viacom (BET)
  • Jin Kim (University of Michigan- Ann Arbor, Screen Arts & Cultures and Business Administration, ’18), THF ’16 and ’17, NBCUniversal
  • Cierra Lockett (Loyola Marymount University, Writing and Producing for Television, ’19), THF ’13, Viacom (Nickelodeon)
  • Kevina Newton (New York University, Media, Culture and Communication, ’17), THF ’17, Turner Broadcasting, Inc.
  • Maitlyn Phan (University of Southern California, Business Administration, ’17), THF ’17, Viacom (Nickelodeon)
  • Hongyu Zhou (University of Pennsylvania, Communication, ’18), THF ’17, Facebook


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T. Howard Will Celebrate Its Founders at 25th Anniversary Awards Dinner

2018 T Howard Awards Dinner

On March 21, 2018, T. Howard Foundation will celebrate its 25th Anniversary at the 2018 Diversity Awards Dinner and will pay special tribute to those founding corporations who made it their business to establish a non-profit organization with a mission of diversity and inclusion.

Showtime Networks was one of the founding companies that will be honored on March 21st with the distinctive Founders Award.

Thanks to the dedication of its founders and all those that followed, the T. Howard Foundation continues to grow is programs and services, placing over 100 diverse interns every year with nearly 50 host companies, and helping them to launch their careers in this incredible industry.

We look forward to recognizing and celebrating the founders of the T. Howard Foundation at our 2018 Diversity Awards Dinner in such a milestone year, our 25th Anniversary.

Many THF Alumni Launch On-Air and Production Careers

T. Howard Foundation interns represent most business functions of the media and entertainment industry. Take a look at a few Internship Program alumni who have reached careers in media on-air and in production at major media companies.

This video first aired at the T. Howard Foundation 2016 Diversity Awards Dinner, in front of an audience of 800 media and entertainment industry executives.

THF Invests in Students with 2014 Scott Weiss Scholarship

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The T. Howard Foundation is happy to announce the recipients of the 2014 Scott Weiss Scholarship, an annual merit-based award granted to eligible alumni of THF’s Internship Program.

Now in its 16th year, the THF alumni scholarship provides eligible former interns with financial assistance for their academic and career pursuits, including college tuition, textbooks and/or expenses related to professional development, such as conferences and workshops that help prepare recipients for a career in the media industry.

“Awarding the Scott Weiss Scholarship is another way that the T. Howard Foundation demonstrates its commitment and support of our alumni,” said Jo Pamphile, THF President & CEO. “We are proud to invest in our students’ future success in the media industry.”

This year, THF awarded $15,000 in scholarships, and individual scholarships can range up to $2,500.

2014 Scott Weiss Scholarship Award Recipients (including current institution, expected undergraduate graduation year, THF internship program year and internship host company):

  • Jillian Baker (University of Southern California ’16), THF ’14, Viacom (BET Networks)
  • Ramone Farrier (San Jose State University ’16), THF ’14, HBO
  • Alexandria Fontanez (SUNY New Paltz ’14), THF ’13 and ’14, A+E Networks
  • Alexandra Givan (University of Maryland, College Park ’16), THF ’14, National Cable & Telecommunications Association
  • Claytia Gonsalves (Georgetown University ’15), THF ’14, Scripps Networks
  • Pearly Hidron (Baruch College ’15), THF ’14, NBCUniversal
  • Gabrielle LeGendre (Penn State University ’15), THF ’14, Viacom
  • Odalis Lopez (University of Maryland, College Park), THF ’13 and ’14, HBO
  • Asia Nelson (Brown University ’15), THF ’14, BBC Worldwide America
  • Danyel Semple (Georgetown University ’15), THF ’13 and ’14, BBC Worldwide America and HBO

Alumni Spotlight: Laura Ortiz–Diligence in Networking Pays Off

image-2“If you are looking to work in the media industry, it is about hard work and networking. If you do all the hard work but nobody truly knows of your capabilities, then sometimes your hard work may go unnoticed, and you may not learn about new opportunities.”

Laura Ortiz realized the importance of networking as a college student and leveraged her contacts including leads from the T. Howard Foundation into a burgeoning career in the media industry.

The Queens, N.Y. native and transplanted southerner grew up as an entertainment industry enthusiast while acting, singing and dancing in high school productions. By her second year as business management major at the University of Georgia, Laura knew that she wanted to pursue a career in the industry that she loved.

She turned to others for ideas. One friend, Shandrea Evans, had been a T. Howard intern, and she shared her internship highlights with Laura and encouraged her to apply to the program when THF visited campus in Fall 2010, which she did.

After going through the application and interview process, Laura was selected for THF’s competitive final talent pool, and received the opportunity to interview for an internship with Univision in Miami.

Laura was pleased with her interview, but suffered a setback when she learned that Univision decided to move the internship to New York, and hired a student who was already in the city. Although she did not intern with Univision through THF that year, Laura was undeterred. “I wasn’t really discouraged because I knew that it was a good start for me. I was just so honored that I reached that level in the internship process and I kept in touch with everyone from the Foundation.”

Through another fellow UGA student Laura learned of internship opportunities at La Mega 97.9 FM, a Spanish language radio station in New York. Although it was not her first choice, she “thought of it as another door opening, another opportunity to add things to my portfolio and hopefully to be more competitive in the next round of placements for T. Howard internships.”

Her summer internship experience at the radio station solidified her interest in a media career, and when Laura returned to school for her final year in 2012, she was determined to secure another internship and still had her sights set on the T. Howard Foundation.

LauraOrtiz1On her own, she was offered an internship with Telemundo in Atlanta, but she recognized the value of working there as a T. Howard intern. Laura contacted THF and asked if her Telemundo internship could be a part of the program, as she had been previously accepted to the final talent pool.

In spring 2012, Laura was finally a T. Howard Foundation intern. “Having the official title of T. Howard intern was very important to me because the Foundation’s brand brings so much power and people know that if you are a T. Howard intern you are diligent.”

Laura gained valuable production experience at Telemundo, and that prepared her for her next THF internship. Through the Foundation, she obtained an internship with A&E Networks Distribution in New York for the summer of 2012. During her A&E internship one of her major assignments was to create marketing strategies to expand the distribution of History en Español. Her experience in two Spanish language media environments led to her obtaining the assignment.

Laura graduated from UGA in December 2012, and contacted LaShika Howard, THF career & alumni manager, about employment opportunities in the media industry. Laura learned about a position in the distribution department at through an email communication that LaShika distributed. Laura became aware of a position in the distribution department at NBCUniversal in New York. After LaShika passed Laura’s resume on to a recruiter at NBCU, Laura went through a series of interviews and accepted an offer as a full time Marketing Coordinator.

In the same way that Laura never lost sight of becoming a T. Howard intern, she remained interested in working for Univision. Laura stayed in contact with the person she interviewed with for the internship position in 2011. Through her work at NBCU she attended many of the same events and conferences as staffers from Univision. By continuing to network, she learned about an opportunity with the Univision, and in February 2014, Laura became a Manager, Distribution Marketing Services and relocated to Miami. After only one year in the industry, she has garnered a major promotion.

Laura calls her ongoing relationship with the T. Howard Foundation a “family” and thanks it for being a champion in the media industry for its interns. She takes pride in the fact that she has had the opportunity to give back to the organization by mentoring students.

The upward trajectory of Laura’s career is proof that her philosophy on networking and relationship building and being optimistic works. “In this industry it is essential that you network and be able to start conversations with people and tell them what your goals, dreams and aspirations are. If you don’t get one opportunity don’t take it as a negative and dwell on that for too long because there are always other opportunities that can put you in the right direction.”