Past Scholarship Winners
2017 Thrill of Victory & People’s Choice Winner | Jada Shampine
My name is Jada Shampine, I’m 15 years old, and I am a Diamond in The Raw. My experience in the DITR Leadership and Film boot camp was awesome and very beneficial for me. The program taught me how to be more self-confident, and self- aware, how to approach, introduce and pitch myself. The program also taught me and the girls how to make a film which was great! I also was able to meet a lot of amazing people every week, like producers, writers, editors, photographers, singers, dancers and actresses, for instance I met Angela Means from the movie Friday (Bye Felicia). This program can open up avenues, and open doors for girls that would like to be in the film industry. We had weekly workshops and field trips. I was able, to tour A & E Lifetime studios and do a TABLE READ for our movie Sleepless Nights. We also went to Sony and Fox studios for a tour, which was awesome! I met a lot of female executives who worked in different departments. We went to KJLH radio station and met Adai Lamar, Big Pee Wee, and Bobo who we listen to on the radio everyday which is cool! The Diamond in the Raw foundation helped me move towards getting into the film industry. I would love to be an actress and a model. I truly recommend young ladies to become a Diamond in the Raw, this program is the best and they show you so much love, support, and encouragement, and really built my self-esteem. At the end of the program we had an awesome sleep over which was a lot of fun. I thank Ms. La Faye, Valerie, Ceret, Megan, Tarik and all the wonderful people who made this possible for us. Being a Diamond in the RAW is a great experience for me, and I would definitely do it all over again.
2017 Honorable Mention | Hamayli Owens
Hi my name is Hamyali and I am a Diamond In The Raw. I liked the Diamond in The RAW summer program because it makes you think about life. I am the youngest diamond and when I came to the DITR program; I did what I had to do to be more mature. I owe it to the girls because they helped me to be the young lady that I am today. I learned to be responsible and be a leader. In addition, they helped me achieve things I never thought I could do. They have been there for me through thick and thin and I love them all. They mean the world to me; they are like the big sister’s I never had. Nothing can replace these diamond’s.
Diamond in the RAW truly was inspiring, emotional and motivating experience. They encourage us to really explore and familiarize ourselves with career opportunities behind the scenes. My generation consistently thinks all the money is in front of that camera when there’s way more behind it.
When I was 10, I’ve always wanted to just act, my dad side of the family is filled with actors, which all I knew how to do was be in front of the camera. But Diamond in the RAW really opened my eyes to so much more. LaFaye, Ceret, Valerie, Ms. Stephanie, and Quinton did a great job at mentoring, being more than a friend to us and by making themselves available whenever in need. The workshops improved our life skills and gave us the skills that will lead us on the correct path. Without programs like this, girls in the industry would be hopeless.
Attending Diamond in the RAW film school was by far the most rewarding program I have participated in. Before the program I thought I had my plans for life set in stone, I knew I would become a actress. However throughout the program we attended field trips at success entertainment studios and post-production studios such as, Fox and Sony Pictures. By attending the field trips I knew I no longer wanted to be in front of the camera but behind the camera. Last week I was invited to a Film Summit and had the opportunity to meet famous directors, producers, agents, managers and an inspirational actor named Tyrese Gibson. It was there at 2016 Academy Summit only two weeks ago I discover what I wanted to become. After hearing the agents speak I knew that’s what I wanted to become. Although I love acting I want to work with actors and actresses who can act as mentors for teen girls like myself.
During Diamond in the Raw Summer Film school we had guest speakers every Monday. There are three specific guest speakers who I still have contact with whose words have inspired me. Kareema who works at Will Smith’s production company gave us a tour of his production studio and office. I even touched and held his Oscar award. I also met a phenomenal woman, Asoniti, who owns a production studio named Set to Blow. To this day, I still talk to her and she offered me a place on a mandatory acting list for the show Black-ish. Lastly, I met William who is an accountant for UCLA and is setting me up with UCLA’s undergraduate admissions.
Overall the Diamond in the RAW Foundation has given myself, as well as my SISTER DIAMOND’S various opportunities. For that I would like to give a special thanks to Ceret, Valerie, Ms. Vanness and most importantly Ms. Baker for changing my life.
2014 DITR People Choice Winner | Shammah Tatum
Going into DITR (Diamond In The Raw) I wasn’t quite sure, what to expect from it , therefore I was a little wary at first.
Over time I began to look forward to our weekly meetings.
Being a part of this program gave me an avenue to apply some of the life skills I was taught growing up; such as setting goals, living out integrity and being a leader vs. a follower.
It also educated me and opened my eyes to the plethora of lucrative and exciting work options that take place behind the scenes such as, script supervisor, sound mixer, casting director, production coordinator, make-up artist, hair stylist production assistant, stunt coordinator to name a very few.
I had my heart set on only being an actress when I entered the program, now I’m considering being a producer as well
In a portion of the program there were what we call mentor moments. The program provided an opportunity for me to meet first hand people who are actively working in the industry. Through these encounters I was able to network and create personal relationships with some of the speakers. From these personal connections many job opportunity and internships have been extended to me.
One of my most memorable moments during the program was getting to be co-producer of a short film that two young ladies and I created the story line for.
All of us in DITR got a chance to be a part of creating the short film.
Every girl was paired up with a professional who worked in her particular area of interest to give them an opportunity to shadow them during the making of our film. As co-producer my job was to help the producer keep track of how much was being spent and on what to ensure the film didn’t go way over budget.
I would like to acknowledge the Founder and CEO of DITR, LaFaye Baker , and thank her for all of the effort she puts into the behind the scenes work to make the Diamonds In The Raw program a success. The sacrifices that she makes so that we can enjoy the benefits of the program are greatly appreciated.
2013 DITR People Choice Winner | Asha Thomas
In the beginning of the summer I had no clue what I was going to do since school was out and my sister had to work. I had just moved to Los Angeles and didn’t know that many people. One day (Sunday) I went to church like usual and this particular day they had a raffle. It was for a program called Diamond in the Raw. At first I didn’t seem so interested until later when I found out more about the program. When the program started, I immediately started making friends. Throughout the summer I grew closer and closer to each and every one of the girls, so close I feel comfortable enough to call them my sisters, because they are. Over the summer I also was going through a lot with my family and home situation. This program allowed me to be temporarily free my mind as needed. I always had my fellow diamonds to lean back on. This program gave me the family I needed.
2013 DITR Thrill of Victory Winner – Amy Jelks-Jones
I am a Diamond in the Raw. I first became a member of Diamonds in 2012 when I was 14 years old. Ever since then my life has never been the same. For someone with a burning desire to be in the entertainment business, this program has been one the best things that ever happened to me.
Honestly, it is such a blessing. I have had so many opportunities to get questions answered and actually talk with people in the entertainment business. Through the program, I have met many people with a variety of jobs that are behind the camera: from directors, producers, actors, actresses, location managers, set designers, hair and make-up artists, stunt men and women, folley artists, editors, and so many more. From this experience, I have figured out what I want to do in the business as well as what I want to get out of it. Diamonds in the RAW has also brought new people I have never met before but are now my very close friends.
The program has also allowed me to discover and learn the in’s and out’s of show business. In addition, I have acquired business etiquette for when dealing with customers and potential clients. I have learned teamwork skills and the importance of networking in this industry.
I would love to thank the DITR organization founder for all she does and all the hard work she pours into the program. I am so glad God placed her in my life and showed me her beautiful soul.
I strong recommend Diamonds in the RAW to any girl interested in the entertainment industry.
After all, girls run the world.
I so proud to be the winner of the 2013 Thrill of Victory $1,000 scholarship winner, now I can get my mac computer and be creative.