Jamie Lee Curtis, Janelle Monáe, Margot Robbie, Gracie Abrams and Addison Rae on Wednesday presented $1 million in university scholarships to high school seniors from underserved communities across Los Angeles with full-ride college scholarships.
The announcement was made at The Hollywood Reporter’s 2022 Women in Entertainment breakfast gala, presented by Lifetime, which was held at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles, in conjunction with the publication of the Women in Entertainment Power 100 list.
Curtis and Monáe teamed to kick off the scholarships presentation, with Curtis announcing that Lifetime would be presenting a $10,000 scholarship to each graduating mentee to the school of their choice.
“Janelle and I have a little surprise for the class of 2023, thanks to Casey Wasserman. Most of you don’t know this, but I am Casey’s godmother. I adore Casey and his family, and especially his grandmother and my godmother, Edie Wasserman,” Curtis said.
“Through the Wasserman Foundation, Casey has created the Edie Wasserman Women in Hollywood Fund, named after his grandmother, to support tenacious and up-and-coming young business and creative women exactly like you guys in their educational and career pursuits,” Monáe added.
Curtis and Monáe then announced the mentees would each be gifted an Apple MacBook Air, endowed by the Wasserman Foundation, which were presented by TikTok star Addison Rae.
Moving on to “scholarship time,” Curtis announced, “Thanks to our donors, this year we’re presenting $1 million in scholarships to Chapman and Loyola Marymount Universities. Thank you to LMU’s Tim Snyder and Joanne Moore and Chapman’s Stephen Galloway for making a college education more accessible to all.”
A full scholarship to Loyola Marymount University was provided by Best Buy to a WIE Mentorship Program mentee. In addition, Best Buy and the WIE Mentorship Program are launching a new partnership that will continue to expand the program and give mentees access to its Los Angeles Community Impact Hub, a network of Best Buy Teen Tech Centers that provide access to cutting-edge technology and career training opportunities within the creative economy.
Curtis and Monáe announced the winner of the 30th LMU scholarship to be Melany, whose mentor is Netflix’s Racheline Benveniste.
A scholarship to Chapman University was underwritten by The Chuck Lorre Family Foundation and National Association of Theatre Owners California Nevada. The 2022 WIE event marks the seventh year that The Chuck Lorre Family Foundation has underwritten a full-ride scholarship to a graduate of the program. To date, Lorre’s foundation has provided more than $1.2 million in scholarships to the mentorship program.
Curtis revealed that Seun Rebecca, whose mentor is Randi Matthews of Multi-Hyphen Media, was the winner of the The Chuck Lorre Family Foundation scholarship to Chapman University. For the first time, the National Association of Theatre Owners California Nevada also provided a scholarship to Chapman University, with Jasmine (mentor: CAA’s Ann Murphy) announced as the scholarship winner.
On behalf of Paramount Pictures, Robbie, star of Damien Chazelle’s upcoming film Babylon, joined the stage to present one of this year’s WIE mentees with a four-year scholarship, provided by the studio, to Chapman. The scholarship expands on Paramount’s decades-long commitment to investing in education opportunities for students from underserved communities in the Los Angeles area and around the globe.
When Robbie took the stage to announce the scholarship, she took a moment to acknowledge how “excited and honored” she felt to be there among the mentees: “When I look out into all of your faces, I see the manifestation of progress. And that fills me with joy and hope and motivation to keep going. First of all, I see women who have the courage to be themselves.” Karen (mentor: Netflix’s Gabriela Zapata) was announced as the scholarship recipient.
Abrams was also in attendance to present a Spotify scholarship. She took a moment to praise the mentees and encouraged, “What you see and how you share matters, you matter. And this morning matters cause we all need beacons. You are our beacons. And on behalf of young women everywhere, I just want to thank you. Thank each of you for the fierce and unyielding light you make.”
Abrams then announced Jazmine (mentor: CAA’s Audrey Rowe) the recipient of the Spotify scholarship to Chapman University.
Meanwhile, Rae presented a Sony scholarship award, marking Sony Pictures Entertainment’s third year returning to provide the scholarship to LMU. “Education should be accessible to all, especially to children and young adults where resources are scarce. Strong role models can provide that access and change lives, and that’s what the Hollywood Reporter Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program does,” she said before announcing Elizabeth (mentor: WME’s Marie Sheehy) as the recipient.
More than 250 girls and 250 mentors have taken part in the Women in Entertainment program, while the mentees have gone on to attend universities including Harvard, UC Berkeley and Northwestern, supported by more than $12 million that THR has raised in scholarships.
Mentors have included Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke, Imax Entertainment president Megan Colligan, Netflix Global TV head Bela Bajaria and Disney General Entertainment Content chairman Dana Walden.
Lifetime has been a partner of the Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program since its inception and is a major contributor to its general scholarship fund, ensuring that each mentee receives a $10,000 scholarship to their college of choice. This year, A+E Studios, the award-winning studio unit of Lifetime’s parent company, A+E Networks, produced a short film highlighting the mentorship program to premiere at the event.
Women in Entertainment is presented by Lifetime, which has contributed more than $1 million in support of the program over the past seven years. The gala is sponsored by Best Buy, Cadillac, Spotify, eOne, FIJI, Gersh and SAG-AFTRA and in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles, Chapman University, College Access Partnership, and Loyola Marymount University.
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