The mentee I've been working with is a terrific talent, a writer of vision and energy, who has what it takes to succeed in this business. But he really needed the support of someone who could help him polish his writing samples, help him make contacts, get meetings...get through the door. This is exactly what has happened during our time together. I've been honored to introduce him to execs I know, to help him land his first job, and to keep cheering him on as he blazes his trail. He deserved and earned the break that this program gave him. And he is thriving.
Melanie Marnich (Mentor)
My mentor instilled the confidence that I not only belong in this industry but can thrive in it. She pushed me to dig deeper and ask the hard questions that authentic storytelling demands. She became invested in my success, putting both my wins and losses into perspective with insights I will carry with me for the rest of my career.
The guidance, support and genuine sense of community I received in the Mentorship Matters program inspire me to give back to the next generation of writers.
Amadou Diallo (Mentee)
Being paired up with my mentor was incredible! She was so encouraging and gave me writing advice that helped me sharpen my voice and create a pilot that is so undeniably "me." When I was approached by a potential manager, she prepared me for the meeting and even put in a good word! I signed with the manager and have been going on lots of great generals ever since!
Madonna Diaz-Refugia (Mentee)
The Mentorship Matters Fellowship has changed the trajectory of my career. Being paired with a working showrunner in the industry has been invaluable, not only for my writing but also for broadening my connections in the industry. This fellowship landed me my first staff writing job, and introduced me to a network of talented peers, many of whom have also been staffed on various shows. I have this program to thank for the first big step in my writing career, and am very grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of the inaugural class.
Michelle Hsu (Mentee)
My mentee is a delight to mentor -- I'm thoroughly enjoying (and learning from!) her POV of a queer BIPOC writer whose genre romance is set in a vibrant time period and a very specific subculture. It's been my pleasure to introduce her to execs, showrunners and producers -- she consistently impresses them with her sample, her insights and her readiness to be staffed.
Melinda Hsu Taylor (Mentor)
Mentorship Matters has been a game-changer for me on many levels. It paired me with my incredibly talented and supportive mentor, who I now consider a friend. Her sincerity and generosity throughout the program resulted in a new script my reps are sharing, getting hired as a WA on two different shows, and being introduced to fantastic showrunners and writers. The cherry on top of all this awesomeness is bonding with my fellow mentees, who are super talented and wonderful writers ready to make their mark on this industry. Thank you, Mentorship Matters!
Paloma Riojas (Mentee)
I have been so privileged to be mentor. Guiding my mentee through the pilot process was a total pleasure, and I am constantly impressed and inspired by her. She is one of the most hard-working, talented, collaborative, generous, and kind young writers I've worked with, and every colleague I've introduced her to has felt exactly the same. Her pilot has landed her generals with agents, producers, and showrunners alike, and I have zero doubt she will be staffed very soon. I would hire her in a heartbeat, and I will just as soon as I have the chance.
Jennifer Cacicio (Mentor)
I was linked with a mentor that not only helped me shift my approach to writing but gave me the skills to be ‘room-ready’. My mentor's belief and investment in me was manifest as he championed me to my first staff position that, without exaggeration, changed the trajectory of my life.
Rah Johnson (Mentee)
"My time working with my mentee has been amazing. I could not have asked for a better mentee; I credit the rigorous vetting process and careful consideration by the Mentorship Matters Team for putting us together. I could see that he was a very talented writer from the moment we first sat down. His success in the program and beyond, first and foremost, is a credit to his hard work and dedication; my role as his mentor was simply to get him and his writing in front of people in the industry, so they could see what I already knew: that he was special; he's an amazing writer and person who would be a boon to any showrunner or producer in need of a talented scribe. I'm happy to say that after 10 months of working together, he now has a manager, and is working as a staff writer in his first writers' room."
Graham Roland (Mentor)
Mentors are key, especially in television where the entry point is all about access and who you know. My Mentor has been a great help. Since day one of the program he's been an open book. After being staffed in my first room, he gave me priceless advice on what to expect and how to prepare. Mentorship Matters is a life changing program.
Saeed Crumpler (Mentee)
During my experience in Mentorship Matters, it has been my pleasure to participate as a mentor to my mentee, who has secured representation and earned his first opportunity as a staff writer. His success is a testament to his talent, hard work and the benefits of Mentorship Matters, through which we discuss everything from notes on writing, to how to navigate politics in the writers room, to how to strategically build a career (even after being staffed), to what to wear in a Zoom meeting.
Aaron Rahsaan Thomas (Mentor)