LaGuardia Community College Receives $150K Grant from MetLife Foundation to Launch Reel Futures Media Internship Program with Reel Works

LaGuardia Community College Receives $150K Grant from MetLife Foundation to Launch Reel Futures Media Internship Program with Reel Works

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY (April 24, 2024) — LaGuardia Community College/CUNY is offering students experiential opportunities to prepare for careers in the film/media industry, with support from a three-year $150K grant from MetLife Foundation.

Students interested in the film/media industry can now participate in the “Reel Futures Media” internship program offering complete workforce readiness training and paid internships with production companies across New York City. Through the program students gain real-life film/media production experience by working alongside creative educators and professionals from concept to post-production.

Internships are available through the MediaMKRS program offered by Reel Works, a non-profit group that incorporates arts education with workforce development to mentor, train, and place young people from underrepresented communities into careers in film and television.

“We are grateful for our partnership with LaGuardia Community College and the CUNY system for allowing us to continue helping talented young students actualize their professional aspirations,” said Reel Works Co-Founder and CEO John Williams. “With the majority of the participants in this cohort identifying as first-generation college students, the success of this year’s program continues to underscore Reel Works’ commitment to breaking down barriers to entry for careers in media and entertainment.”

“The film and television production industry is a vital sector of our city’s economy providing many jobs and rewarding careers for New Yorkers,” said Kenneth Adams, President of LaGuardia Community College. “The Reel Futures Media internship program offers students a jumpstart to realizing their full potential in this innovative industry.”

Beginning in fall 2023, LaGuardia worked closely with Patrick Quinn, CUNY MediaMKRS Internship Coordinator, to recruit qualified students to the program and support them through the internship application process.

Currently, 19 students are in the initial cohort, 12 of whom are first-generation college students. Since early January 2024, these students have been enrolled in workforce readiness training designed to prepare them for success in the workplace. The students earn digital badges for completing training in areas including how to communicate effectively with colleagues and external stakeholders, and in active listening. The students got matched to employers through a company matching fair held on March 12.

The students began their internships in early April. Students were partnered with a variety of organizations including Center Stage Beauty Broadcast, Queens World Film Festival, Naima Ramos-Chapman, Katra Film Series, LaGCC TV, Conch Shell Productions, Nature Culture, Building Beats, Oye Group, and New York Forum of Amazigh Films.

The Reel Futures Media program supports LaGuardia’s enhancement of its film and television program offerings. In March 2023, LaGuardia received a $200K Grant from Empire State Development to launch its Film and Television Workforce Development Program.

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Reel Works: Founded in 2001, Reel Works serves over 1,600 youth annually from middle school through high school and beyond, developing them as artists and citizens and helping them graduate, get into college, and launch careers in media. Reel Works is the only filmmaking program that matches teens 1:1 with professional filmmaker-mentors to tell their stories and have their voices heard. It’s a powerful combination that changes lives while creating startling and original films that have been seen by millions of viewers worldwide. Through our MediaMKRS workforce development program, we partner with industry leaders, educators, and government agencies to create pathways from classrooms to careers for talented early-career professionals to build more inclusive media workforce.  For more information visit

LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC), a Hispanic-Serving Institution, located in Long Island City, Queens offers more than 50 degrees and certificates, and more than 65 continuing education programs to educate New Yorkers seeking new skills and careers. As an institution of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his advocacy of underserved populations. Since 1971, LaGuardia’s academic programs and support services have advanced the socioeconomic mobility of students while providing them with access to a high quality, affordable college education.


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