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Laila Wilson ’22 Receives Paley Center for Media Internship

Congratulations to Laila Wilson ’22 for recognition by three significant awards this semester: the Paley Center for Media’s inaugural Peter Roth Internship Program, a SUNY ACT scholarship, and an NAACP scholarship.

We’re pleased to announce that Laila Wilson ’22 (playwriting and screenwriting), has been named to the inaugural class of The Peter Roth Internship Program at the Paley Center for Media. Laila, who hails from Freeport, was one of only 20 students in the country selected for the program. She is the only SUNY student, and the only dramatic writing major.

The program’s mission is to inspire the next generation of television professionals to embody television studio executive Peter Roth’s commitment to innovative storytelling, love for writers, passion for the art form of television, and the critical importance of nurturing a diverse array of creative voices and portrayals on television. Students will gain first-hand experience in the world of television and access an unparalleled educational experience during this paid apprenticeship opportunity.

The internship is endowed through generous contributions from Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Alliance, The Berlanti Family Foundation, The Chuck Lorre Family Foundation, and The Katie McGrath & J.J. Abrams Family Foundation.

Students were selected for this comprehensive paid internship through a competitive application process that evaluated their academic achievement, leadership skills, and commitment to the media industry. The Paley Center received hundreds of qualified applicants-undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds and underserved communities who are rising juniors and seniors with a GPA of 3.2 or higher from some of the most prestigious colleges and universities nationwide, including schools with top media programs.

Using the Paley Archive, the Paley Center will provide an extensive course to help students better understand the importance of diverse voices and portrayals on television. Interns will also attend guest lectures, meet-and-greets, and Q&A sessions with television executives, talent, showrunners, writers, and other members of a creative team to gain an appreciation for the art of storytelling. The program will also include first-hand experience working at the Paley Center, along with site visits to networks, sets, and studios, to provide a valuable understanding of the business side of television.

After completing the program, students will join the Paley intern alumni association, where they will continue to receive expert advice and counsel, special networking opportunities and events, and make lifelong connections within the television industry.

About Laila Wilson

Laila Wilson produced the POV Festival at Purchase, which brought together students from across many disciplines to showcase new student works in new ways, in the midst of the pandemic. She is also a YoungArts screenplay winner and the recipient of the State University of New York Association of Council Members and College Trustees Excellence and Student Initiative Scholarship.

Wilson serves as the Student Representative for Purchase College at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) following her extensive participation at the Kennedy Center as a Playwriting Intensive selected writer, Arts Administration Intern, and ASPIRE/LORT Fellow.

Adding to ACT award, Wilson was also selected as one of just twenty recipients nationally for the Empowering Imagination Scholarship powered by Kering. The NAACP awards the $5,000 scholarship to distinguished college students majoring in creative fields.

Further contributions to Purchase include Wilson’s current project, initiating the charter of the first Women in Animation (WIA) club at a SUNY campus. The group is part of a global non-profit that provides guidance and resources to under-represented groups in the animation industry.