The NBCU Academy Fellows program is designed to educate and support outstanding students who are on a path to become leaders, journalists, and content creators. Fellows will participate in intensive mentoring, professional development, and paid internships, opportunities provided to fellows by the faculty and staff of CCNY with generous financial support from NBCUniversal News Group.
Fellows will each receive $5,000 stipends during the school year and up to $5,000 to support journalism internships during the summer.
The fellowship is made possible by a partnership among the NBCUniversal News Group, NBCU Academy, the Colin Powell School, and the Journalism Program of the Department of Media and Communication Arts in CCNY’s Division of Humanities and Arts.
Fellows are required to attend three intensive workshops during the Fall 2022 semester and another three during the Spring 2023 semester. They will feature journalists working in a variety of media outlets, including NBCU.
The NBCU Academy program requires students to intern at any one of a wide variety of media organizations. CCNY program leadership will help students prepare for, apply to, and obtain these internships. Fellows who find internships that do not compensate them will receive stipends through the program.
In New York and the surrounding area, many media companies offer internships that provide excellent exposure to real world practices. We recommend that students apply to outlets that include:
We encourage you to take journalism classes prior to applying for the fellowship. In addition, accepted fellows must remain engaged with the journalism program and take at least one journalism class each semester. These classes might include:
The NBCU Academy Program will provide students with a strong understanding of the media landscape and the intersection of race, ethnicity and culture. Fellows will learn the fundamentals of television journalism and video storytelling and the essentials of business reporting. They will benefit from mentoring, lectures, workshops and tutorials and the professional insight of NBCU staffers.
Applicants for the 2022-2023 fellowship:
Please upload responses to the following questions through the application form. Write your name on all application materials.
1. How do your educational and professional experiences so far shape your long-term interest in becoming a journalist? Indicate if you have taken journalism classes or served as a journalist in school or elsewhere. Upload an essay that is between 250 and 500 words.
2. How would you like to see your career develop over the next decade or two? Upload an essay that is between 250 and 500 words.
3. What are three questions you would like to see addressed as part of the program?
4. List 5 media outlets that you would like to apply to for your summer internship. (Note: You can always change your mind later.)
Adrian Barroso is a rising junior majoring in political science and international studies with a minor in journalism. After completing his first year at The New School, Adrian decided to transfer to CCNY for the opportunities the college offers throughout the city and because of CCNY’s long history. Adrian is interested in American politics and international news. In addition, he enjoys music and going out with friends.
Ana Maldonado is a born and raised Colombian woman. She came to the United States in 2016, pursuing a major in Film. A better education system pushed her parents to move to a foreign country. After surpassing the language, economic, and cultural barriers, She went to BMCC, finishing her studies as the valedictorian of class 2020. After that, Ana transferred to CCNY, pursuing a BFA in Film and a minor in Journalism. Ana wants to make an impact by doing documentaries. Her first documentary was about immigration issues, telling the story of a man who tried to cross the Mexican-USA border six times. Ana thinks that Journalism is an opportunity to inform people and share diverse perspectives. She desires to create more stories to advocate for social justice, environmental awareness, and gender equity. Ana plans to make feature-length documentaries about Latin-American issues or real-life Latin stories in the future.
Annisha Singh is a junior majoring in English with a focus on creative writing and is also a journalism minor. She comes from a Caribbean background and is the first to attend college in her family. Her interest in journalism and the NBCU Academy has brought her to the Colin Powell School. One of her aspirations is to travel and write about how people from other parts of the world live. She thinks it’s essential to understand the differences and similarities other countries share or don’t share with Westernized countries. In addition to writing, Annisha also enjoys playing tennis, swimming, and watching YouTube videos with her brother.
Azma Rahman is majoring in political science major and minoring in journalism. Originally she wanted to major in business and get her foot out the door, but that all changed once she started attending talk shows and late-night events. Become a part of that lifestyle which people don’t get much access to as people of color. She became inspired by content creators like Hasan Minhaj, Mindy Kailing, and Nabela Noor. As South Asian creators are finally represented in mainstream media, she wants to become a part of their league and become an inspiration for others who didn’t think they could stand a chance in this industry. She wants more people of color and minorities to follow their dreams.
Bryce Cristiano is a documentary filmmaker and Kaye Scholar in his senior year at City College. Originally from Phoenix, Bryce moved to China at 18 to study and work, gaining valuable experience with writing for publications. Selected as part of the All-AZ and Coca-Cola Academic Teams as a Gold Scholar in 2021 through Rio Salado College, Bryce came to New York City to study film production. He aspires to work with his spouse Yanqi to make films that blur the lines between fiction and documentary. In addition, the NBCU Academy Fellow program will allow him the opportunity to connect with other diverse storytellers to shed light on pressing social issues. Over the summer, Bryce will continue his internship as a Senior Genomic Analyst with Katch Media while working on a documentary about children raised by same-sex parents. Aside from filmmaking, Bryce enjoys spending time with his pet rabbits, Neenee and Cheechee.
Cesar Omar Vazquez is a junior majoring in communications focusing on advertising and public relations. Cesar embraces his critical thinking, communication, and analytical skills because it allowed him to complete his minor in economics. In addition, he strives to improve his writing skills through journalism and has published an article on Harlem View titled “Cybersecurity: A Big Concern for CCNY Students.” In his free time, he enjoys being with his family and occasionally travels to Mexico to get reminded of the villages where his parents were born. Cesar takes pride in being Mexican-American and uses his family’s roots as motivation to make the most of every opportunity presented to him.
Denisse Beato is a junior majoring in economics and doing a double minor in English and Journalism.
Erick Martinez is a junior studying mechanical engineering and journalism. Erick came with his family from the Dominican Republic when he was two years old and, since then, has been raised in uptown Manhattan. What brought him to CCNY was that the environment and opportunities he sought would be right there for him. He saw that he could pursue Engineering in one of the top schools in the city while having a place to express himself on specific issues around him with journalism at the same time. Some subjects that interest him are gentrification, something that affected him growing up. Seeing families and store owners be displaced due to the city renovating an area that is home to a culture that has resided there for years is an issue worth bringing to light. He hopes to gain an understanding of what it means to be a journalist while helping others find a voice to be heard and listened to. He has been interested in race cars since he was a kid and hopes to join the motorsport world as a Formula 1 journalist one day.
Ibrahim Hersi is majoring in Advertising and Public Relations with a minor in Journalism. Initially, from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Ibrahim transferred to CCNY as it offered him more majors and opportunities that he was interested in. After taking Intro to Journalism, he was informed of the NBCU Academy Fellowship. He took the opportunity to help start his career in journalism. In the future, Ibrahim wants to work in the sports industry as a broadcaster, a writer, or an on-air reporter. In his spare time, Ibrahim plays basketball and volleyball.
James Dean Johnstone is a rising senior. He is enrolled in the BFA Film and Video Production Program and minoring in Journalism. He was born and raised in South Florida and moved to New York City to further his education at CCNY, along with building relationships and connections in the film industry. He is a member of the CCNY baseball team, a film enthusiast, and a podcast host. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring the sites of New York City. His family, friends, and colleagues call him ‘JD.’
Jennifer Garcia is a senior majoring in business management and minoring in journalism. Through her courses, she has developed an interest in business and entrepreneurship and expanded financial literacy in the Hispanic community, which led her to an internship with CNBC en Español. She is also interested in media and communications, especially current events, culture, and sports. Jennifer does freelance pieces for HarlemView and will be an assistant editor this academic year. As a first-generation student, she hopes to be the first in her family to be admitted into a Master’s program and continue to develop and refine her skills as a multimedia journalist. This will be Jennifer’s second year as an NBCU Academy Fellow. As a second-year fellow, Jennifer hopes to endeavor in sports journalism and broadcast.
Joshua Ambroise was born and raised in Manhattan by Dominican-Haitian parents. He is a Junior majoring in Communications with a minor in Journalism. In the future, he dreams of becoming a sports journalist because of his passion for sports but, more importantly, his passion for discussing sports. His goal is to work for a vast sports company such as ESPN and become a freelance writer. However, becoming a freelancer writer is not the only priority Joshua has in mind; he wants to cover the New York Yankees and a team he has rooted for as a sports fanatic.
Kyle Cristello is a rising senior studying documentary in the film program at CCNY. Born and raised in Ossining, New York, Kyle sought an engineering degree right out of high school. However, he realized where his passion truly resides, so he returned to New York to pursue film. Over the past year, he has developed an interest in video journalism upon completing a fellowship with The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting while also taking journalism courses at City College. Through these experiences, Kyle has been able to express his love for filmmaking through the art of Non-fiction storytelling, realizing that if executed correctly, it can be a conduit for seeing the world as it truly is. He looks forward to the community of people with similar drive and ambition during his commitment to the fellowship.
Mohammed Navil is an English major in his fourth year at City College who is also minoring in Journalism and working through the Publishing Certificate Program at City College. Born and raised in Queens, New York, he is a first-generation Bangladeshi-American in a family of five (two parents, three children.) He has been interested in writing his whole life; whether it be essays, short stories, scripts and screenplays, poems, or, more recently, journalistic writing and editing, he has always found writing to be an absolute joy in his life. He got his hand at actual journalistic writing for the first time in December of 2020, when he got a story published by Harlemview. He enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games. He cannot decide whether he wants to pursue a career as a journalist or as an editor at a publishing company, as both careers seem ideal to him.
Refath Bari majors in Math & Physics. At CCNY, Refath served as an AI Researcher in Prof. Carlos Meriles’ Condensed Matter Lab. Subsequently, his numerical solution to the generalized brachistochrone problem was accepted for publication in the Physics Teacher Journal. He is currently working on leveraging modern ab-initio techniques to model Hycean exoplanets using supercomputers. He has contributed to The Washington Examiner and is the author of 55 Days In Dharavi. At CCNY, Refath has been involved as Senator of CCNY’s Undergraduate Student Government, Managing Editor of The Paper, and Contributor to The Campus.
Akera Joseph is a 19 year old communications major. She is currently a sophomore at City College of New York and is working towards her bachelors degree. She chose to study Communications because of her belief that everyone is entitled to the truth especially in the media. In addition, her interest in Public Relations is fairly new; it was the the idea of being an insightful voice to the public that intrigued her. Writing has been something she’s always known she wanted to do and thoroughly explored in High School through extra curriculars at Lincoln Center, Arts Connection and mentorship programs.
Astra Montanez is a senior dual majoring in jazz instrumental performance and international studies with a minor in journalism at CCNY. She was born and raised in Florida by Venezuelan parents, and is first-generation American. Astra and her family moved to Brooklyn, New York for high school, receiving opportunities in music. She was involved with the jazz academy at Jazz at the Lincoln Center, attended GRAMMY Camp in LA, and studied with renowned jazz musicians. Within the last two years, she has taken an interest in environmental and humanitarian issues as she has witnessed it firsthand throughout her travels. Her objective as a journalist is to document and share stories that relate to these issues, and to influence others to take action. Astra looks forward to connecting with people in the program and developing her knowledge throughout this opportunity.
Fenix is a psychology major pursuing minors in journalism and international studies. He graduated from LaGuardia Community College with an Associates of Science in criminal justice. He is an observer of modern-day society and how it is influenced by history. He has an open-minded view of the world, a view that was shaped by a diverse range of living environments while growing up in many neighborhoods from Manhattan to Brooklyn to Queens. His motivation to become a journalist stems from his belief that local news is imperative and essential to everyday life. He enjoys biking around New York City, making and listening to music, reading fiction, watching films, and discovering new experiences.
Miguel is double majoring in Political Science and Creative Writing and minoring in Journalism. He is drawn to the field of journalism because it allows him to spend his life learning, educating, and traveling. While he considers himself a Generalist, he is most interested in educating western audiences about inequitable political and economic dynamics in the Global South and the crypto-currency beat. Miguel has pieces published in The Independent, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and The National Association for LGBTQ+ Journalists. He has not decided whether he will stay in the United States after graduating or head back to Europe to live, but he is determined to continue on the path of journalism.
Oscar Flores Pavón is a first generation college student hoping to obtain a career within the communications field. He is interested in writing and reporting and would love to one day work at a news agency. He is an advertising and public relations major with a minor in journalism.
Rhiannon Rashidi is a junior majoring in Comparative Literature and minoring in Journalism. Rhiannon was raised in Los Angeles, California, and moved to New York to complete her undergraduate studies at City College. Growing up, Rhiannon was always drawn to academic courses and opportunities that allowed her to interact with her communities through writing. Throughout her academic career, Rhiannon has composed testimonies for Mock Trials, drafted resolutions at Model United Nations conferences across the United States, and was the distinguished student of Riverside City College’s Literature department for the 2021-2022 academic year. Rhiannon believes that words are powerful and wants to learn how to leverage that power to help address social issues in her community.
Ron Ramroop is a junior majoring in Advertising/Public Relations with a minor in Journalism. After originally enrolling at City College with the hopes of pursuing an engineering degree, Ron switched his focus to the arts field and hasn’t looked back. Still trying to get acclimated to the one plus hour commute, what has really caught his attention is studying journalism and how exhilarating it can be. He hopes to graduate with profound knowledge in not only the practice of journalism but also the communications field. Although he does not have a set-in-stone plan, he is excited to see where things go from here and what the future holds. Outside of academics, Ron enjoys working out, watching and playing sports, and hanging out with friends.