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.” 

2014 Diversity Awards Dinner Brings Together Media Executives, Interns and Supporters

On Wednesday, March 26, T. Howard Foundation (THF) board and staff welcomed more than 635 media industry representatives for the Foundation’s 21st annual Diversity Awards Dinner, held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York.

THF recognized media corporations and executives for outstanding leadership in the area of diversity, and saluted the Foundation’s internship class of 2013 and acknowledged the students’ host company partners.

“The T. Howard Foundation is thankful for the support and partnership with so many media companies that enables the organization to provide the priceless gift of opportunity to young people of color,” said Jo Pamphile, THF President & CEO. “I’m proud that in 2013, 103 THF talent pool students gained professional work experiences with our media host company partners. In addition, last year 32 T. Howard alumni were hired for full-time positions in the industry.”

The following media industry leaders were honored at this year’s Diversity Awards Dinner:

thoward-5278Corporate Excellence Award
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., accepted by John K. Martin, CEO

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. has been a THF media partner since 1994 and has increased financial and internship program support over the years. Turner has demonstrated its commitment to presenting quality programming and content that reflects and respects the diversity of its global audience.



thoward-5117Innovative Program Award
Comcast|NBCUniversal, for Internet Essentials, accepted by David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation

Internet Essentials is the nation’s most comprehensive broadband adoption program. It provides families with children eligible to receive a free or reduced school lunch the opportunity to purchase low-cost Internet service, a low-cost computer and to participate in digital literacy training either in person, in print or online.


Champion Award
Salaam Coleman Smith, President, Strategic Initiatives, Cable Entertainment Group, NBCUniversal

Ms. Coleman Smith, as past president, led the Style Network, growing it into a prominent cable destination for young, diverse, female audiences.

The evening’s program featured a balance of media industry newcomers and veterans, including:

  • THF’s 2013 “Rising Star”: Steven DeShields, THF’ 05 (Viacom), Manager, Point of Sales, Showtime Networks, Inc.
  • Award and tribute presenters:

o   Jacqueline Hernandez, COO, Telemundo Media

o   Nadya Mason, THF ’13 (Comcast Corporation) and University of Pennsylvania student

o   Carlos Morcillo, THF ’12 (Speakeasy), Marketing Analyst, Telemundo Media

o   Camly Nguyen, THF ’13 (Turner Network Sales), Sales Operation Coordinator, Turner Network Sales

o   Cristina Recino, THF ‘13 (Viacom) and Penn State University student

  • Michaela Pereira, CNN News Anchor for “New Day” and Co-Anchor of “@This Hour, emceed the Diversity Awards program.

The T. Howard Foundation’s Diversity Awards Dinner also included a silent auction featuring more than 40 national media-related items and experiences, with all proceeds benefitting the Foundation’s summer internship program.

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Alumni Spotlight: Edgar Corona, Marketing Coordinator, National Football League


Edgar_CoronaTwo key elements for Edgar Corona launching a successful career in the media industry are networking and mentorship. Growing up in Los Angeles, Edgar moved to the East Coast to attend Georgetown University in Washington. DC. At Georgetown, Edgar majored in marketing and international business. In his marketing classes and during an internship experience after his freshman year of college, Edgar says that the roles media promotions and advertising play in marketing grabbed his attention, “I was working with a political marketing team and was able to really see the face-to-face marketing and distribution. That is where my interest in media really began.”

At that time, Edgar shared his interest in media with one of his mentors and she suggested that he pursue an internship with the T. Howard Foundation (THF). Edgar, ever persistent, researched the Foundation and requested an informational interview with Sharise Kent, Senior Project Manager. His meeting with Sharise increased his interest and he applied for the summer internship program during his junior year. After being selected for THF’s Final Talent Pool for summer 2011 opportunities, Edgar then landed an internship with ESPN, in the sports network’s sales and marketing division, located in New York City. During the Foundation’s 2011 Summer Internship Orientation, Edgar continued to network and cultivate mentors. “It was fascinating for me to see and learn how individuals really communicated and contributed to different parts of the media sector.”

The T. Howard Foundation pairs all its interns with a mentor. Bryce Adams, an active THF alumnus who now works for the New York Yankees, was assigned to mentor Edgar. He often turned to his mentor for guidance. “Bryce was experienced in the field, and I was able to talk to him about the experiences I had in my role and how a project would develop, and he gave me pointers and advice on how best to handle a situation.”

After Edgar concluded his internship with ESPN, he returned to Georgetown for his senior year and maintained the relationships he established during the summer and also spread the word about the T. Howard Foundation Internship Program at campus events.


Edgar Corona at the NFL Draft

After graduation, Edgar secured a position in the NFL’s highly competitive Junior Rotational Program. In July 2012 he began an assignment as a Marketing Coordinator in the NFL’s sponsorship department focusing on entertainment marketing.

“One of the reasons I really like this industry is because it is always changing and it is constantly evolving where you always have the opportunity to learn,” Edgar stated last week. “I have been working with partners, players and agents to understand how players and teams cooperate in promoting the teams.”

Edgar credits the T. Howard Foundation with providing him with the resources and access to individuals that have allowed him to begin his career path. In fact, THF chose Edgar to represent all Internship Program alumni by inviting him to speak at last year’s Diversity Awards Dinner, held annually in New York, and attended by multimedia industry executives.

At the beginning of 2014, he transitioned out of the NFL’s Junior Rotational Program and was promoted to a full-time Marketing Coordinator in the League’s entertainment and promotions department. Edgar encourages students to “take advantage of the opportunities they encounter, whether they are big or small there is always an opportunity to learn; there is always an opportunity to meet new individuals and grow as individuals and professionals. The resources provided by this program (T. Howard Foundation) really make it helpful for individuals and puts you in a position to succeed.”