Where Are They Now?

Allie Volpe, 2014 Student Radio Special or Variety Gracie Award Winner

Murugi Thand, 2018 Student Online Producer Gracie Award Winner

Sokhna Fall, 2019 Ford “Empowering America” Scholarship Recipient

It was an honor to be selected as the Ford “Empowering America” Scholarship Runner-up. Last year, I was a determined high school senior who sought to attend Howard University. However, finances and proximity to home was a concern for my family. This scholarship was a generous and meaningful contribution to my ability to pursue a higher education at an illustrious out-of-state institution. As a Muslim African-American young woman who is considering a career in media, a field that far too often lacks in diversity, it is easy to feel unappreciated and unworthy. My experiences after completing my first year at the “Mecca” have taught me a level of resilience and persistence that I will never forget and surely apply in future career endeavors. I thank everyone at the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation that helped kickstart my journey towards success.

—Sokhna Fall

Senegalese-American

Rising Sophomore, Howard University

Tracey Quezada, 2019 Ford “Empowering America” Scholarship Recipient

As a woman of color and the first one to go to college in my family, for my bachelors degree and now my masters, I needed that green light. Something that told me to accept the offer from UC Berkeley graduate school of journalism. I was on the fence about accepting their offer and when I received a scholarship from Alliance for Women in Media that was my answer– my green light. Recently, I received a scholarship from The American Association of University Women.

I still have one more year to complete my masters degree. Over the past 9 months I’ve been working hard on my documentary film. Below is the teaser and selects of the film in progress. My multimedia project follows Aqueila Lewis, an aspiring poet living in Oakland California who is passionately pursuing her dreams while running from a dark past buried deep in her psyche. We follow her as she uncovers the generational cycle of child sexual abuse within her family and works to heal. The film will also feature a social impact campaign focused on women of color who have experienced child sexual abuse. These past 2 months I’ve dedicated to submitting grant applications to fund this film.

— Tracey Quezada
Filmmaker | Editor | Journalist

www.traceyquezadaproductions.com

Tiaras Polite, 2018 Ford “Empowering America” Scholarship Recipient

I am still at Georgia State University majoring in Sports Administration. I am graduating May 2021, a year early. Life just took off once I came from Atlanta. I’ve worked the Super Bowl festivities, as well as the Atlanta Hawks and College Park Skyhawks. I was just hired with the Atlanta Braves before COVID-19 occurred. I also worked with the NFL Honors and was also supposed to work the 2020 Espys before COVID-19 as well. Right now, I am just trying to connect with more industry professionals and network, network, network! I am trying to secure a job once I graduate in May. 

— Tiaras Polite

Rising Senior, Georgia State University