VCF Career Discovery 2


Executives from the worlds of media came together to help area students learn about their industries and how to get in.

The VCF Career Discovery program held an enriching session on October 25th, 2023, bringing together industry leaders and aspiring professionals for a day of insights, inspiration, and invaluable guidance. The event featured a captivating fireside chat with Danielle Gervais of ITV America and Makeda Mays Green of Paramount, followed by small group coaching sessions led by prominent figures in the media and entertainment industry.

The program helps students discover their interests and passions; and empowers them to confidently identify and pursue careers within the most prominent industries and employers in the region.

After the fireside, participants attend their selected industry-specific breakout session. where they can learn about their specific post-secondary or early-career experiences that “got them in” to the industries and roles of choice! Featured mentors and coaches at the latest program included:

Danielle Gervais, SVP Casting at ITV America:

Participants had the privilege of receiving personalized guidance and advice from Danielle Gervais, gaining insights into the dynamics of the reality television industry and understanding the skills required to thrive in such a competitive space.

Makeda Mays Green, SVP at Paramount:

Makeda Mays Green, representing Paramount, provided valuable insights into the world of film and television production, sharing her experiences and expertise with aspiring professionals seeking to make a mark in the industry.

SE Cupp Host of CNN’s SE Cupp Unfiltered:

The small group session with SE Cupp offered a unique perspective on political commentary and journalism. Attendees had the chance to discuss media ethics, storytelling, and the evolving role of journalism in today’s fast-paced world.

Liz Fine, SVP at Spoke Studios:

Liz Fine, from Spoke Studios, brought her extensive experience in content development and production to the coaching sessions. Participants explored the intricacies of creating compelling and impactful content in the ever-changing media landscape.

Sarah Broderick, CEO of FEAT, formerly CFO at Vice Media:

In the session led by Sarah Broderick, participants gained insights into the intersection of media, technology, and culture. Sarah shared her journey from Vice Media to FEAT, offering advice on navigating a dynamic and evolving media landscape.

The Village Community Foundation believes that by building soft skills, a professional network, and gaining real-world experience, our program participants are poised for more rewarding and enriching experiences as they prepare for and enter the workforce.

[Quote From Jon Winkel – President of the Village Community Foundation]

The Career Discovery program works with several area nonprofits and education institutions to build a large, diverse participant group for the program. Participating organizations include LiveGirl, Waterside School, The University of Connecticut, Digital Media Connecticut (DMCT), CT State College and University System, Norwalk Community College, University of New Haven, Future5, and others.

“It’s wonderful to see so many organizations and emerging scholars participating in Career Discovery. Without our partners and participants, we wouldn’t be able to collectively reimagine what opportunity and access should be in our career and industries of choice. We’re so grateful and excited to build more features into the program beginning in Spring of 2024” – Jon Winkel, VCF President

With nearly 100 attendees, the VCF Career Discovery program session proved to be a resounding success, providing participants with a unique opportunity to connect with industry leaders, gain valuable insights, and receive personalized guidance. The fireside chat and small group coaching sessions exemplified the program’s commitment to fostering the next generation of talent in the media and entertainment industry.