We are very excited to announce the recipients of our inaugural UCLA Extension Writers’ Program Scholarship! After a competitive judging process, we narrowed the applicants down to ten promising creative writing and screenwriting students who showed not only financial need, but a genuine passion for their craft.

Our recipients shared a little more about themselves, their goals, and what they enjoy most about the writing process:

“Writing gives me great joy because it allows me to bring my original ideas to life. I also find writing extremely exciting because it enables creative people to feed off each other’s ideas to create a work that is beyond one person’s imagination.”

–Zora Bikangaga, Los Angeles, CA

“I am a Korean-American who grew up in Pico Union in Los Angeles. Since I was fifteen, I wanted to tell the stories of Los Angeles, which have not been featured in movies and television, the real Los Angeles that I have known.”

–Hyun Chung, Los Angeles, CA

“Living in a small city, I have had no direct access to continuing education in writing. When I discovered the Writers’ Program in 2005, it was a lifeline for me. I hope that my stories make a difference in people’s lives by making them smile, teaching them something new, or showing them the beauty in something ordinary. My goal is to earn a certificate in creative writing.”

–Allison Counasse, Erie, PA

“The thing that I enjoy about writing is the process itself: conceiving ideas and finding words to express them, reworking those words, and finally, experiencing satisfaction when readers respond positively to what I have written.”

–Derrick Coy, Grenada Hills, CA

“I intend to use the scholarship as a springboard to earning a certificate in television writing, and pursue my ultimate goal of landing a job on the staff of a sitcom. I enjoy creating new worlds and bringing these worlds to life by presenting memorable characters caught in sticky situations.”

–Giancarlo Fusi, Englewood, NJ

“I am excited to devote more time to my writing, and creating mindscapes and stories that allow people to fully embrace and sink into their deepest emotions. I believe writing allows a reader to drop social and psychological guards, and thoughtfully consider what it means to be human.”

–Kimberly Hazel, Astoria, OR

“I was raised in the UK and received a sound, grammar school education, but from age 18 until the age of 64, I wrote nothing other than work-related reports. I took a creative nonfiction course and was stunned to discover I had a wealth of tales to share. Having just survived emergency open-heart surgery, I am delighted to be well enough to spend my time experiencing that “yes!” when I am able to craft a sentence that does exactly what I want it to.”

–Gillian P. Herbert, Sonora, CA

“When my children were young, I had much to say, but not enough time to say it in. I wrote when my babies napped, sending in articles to parenting magazines and thriving on small successes and publications. A spark was lit, and I began to realize that I was a writer. I love sharing stories and the chance to make people laugh, or to think about things in different ways.”

–Pamela Jorrick, Bella Vista, CA

“My main goal going into the scholarship courses is to learn how to present my work in a professional manner, in addition to deepening the understanding for structure, character development and unfolding a story in a magical way.”

–Elizabeth Oh, West Hollywood, CA

“Feature film touches souls and transforms lives. I want to contribute to the meaningful endeavor. Writing takes me on a spiritual journey searching for the highest truth.”

–Jessie L. Wilson, Sun Valley, CA

Congratulations to our well-deserved recipients!

For more information about the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program Scholarship, click here. Or as always, please feel free to call our office at (310) 825-9415; we’re more than happy to chat with you about your writing goals!

Mae Respicio is the Program Representative in Creative Writing.

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