Lezla Alease Gooden, of Mitchellville, Md., is one of several 2011 recipients of the prestigious, highly competitive Emma L. Bowen Foundation Scholarship for Minority Interests in the Media.
The Foundation received 3,000 applications nationwide, and Lezla won a select spot as a paid intern with C-SPAN television in Washington, D.C. In addition to having an internship for 2011 and 2012, Lezla will receive matching scholarship funds from the foundation at the university of her choice. According to her letter of congratulations from Sandra Rice, vice president for the foundation, “Lezla is one among a select group of students in the country who has this unique opportunity to learn about the media industry and the variety of career opportunities it offers on a firsthand basis.”
“The Emma L. Bowen Foundation was created in 1989 to prepare minority youth for careers in the media industry. The interns work for partner companies during summers and school breaks, beginning the summer following their senior year in high school until they graduate from college. Students have an opportunity to learn many aspects of corporate operations and develop company-specific skills.
Corporations have an opportunity to train and mentor students with the option of hiring them fulltime upon completion of their college degrees.
A freshman at Hampton University, Lezla is majoring in broadcast journalism and prelaw and was recently elected to Hampton’s Student Council.
Lezla has long been an accomplished student as: a member of The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) selected based on academic achievement and leadership qualities; scholarship recipient to the Hurston/ Wright Creative Writing Intensive Workshop for High School Students for two consecutive summers where she studied fiction under famed author, Marita Golden; two time graduate of the Urban Journalism Workshop (UJW), an internship program sponsored by the Washington Association of Black Journalists and the Washington Post; intern with National Public Radio (NPR); graduate of the Congressional Student Leadership Conference (CSLC) on Media & Journalism, a residential program sponsored by LeadAmerica, at Georgetown University; student member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ); and attendee to the 2010 annual NABJ conference in San Diego, California.
Lezla also received the “Best Essay Award” from the Ivy Community Charities of Prince George’s County, Iota Gamma Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., in April 2011, when she was presented to society as a debutante.
She was a cum laude honor roll student throughout most of her K-12 academic career; a writer for The Stampede newspaper and yearbook staff; a member of the Student Government Congress, graduate of Leaders’ Youth Retreat at the College of Notre Dame in Baltimore; author of a children’s book, “Spanky Goes to Camp”; writer for NSHSS Scholars’ Journal and LeadAmerica’s Media and Journalism magazine; intern with the Prince George’s County Office of Law and the State’s Attorney’s Office.
Lezla loves to read, write, swim and travel and has studied dance since age 3. She is a member of the First Baptist Church of Glenarden, where she participated in the STAR ministry. She is the daughter of Caesar Gooden, II and Karen Williams Gooden, Esq.