Fordham Junior Receives Prestigious NYWICI Award



Daejah Woolery, FCLC ’22, received the award for the Carlozzi Family Scholarship to continue pursuing her passion in television screenwriting. She tends to write character-driven dramas centered around Black main characters with intersectional identities.


Every year, New York Women in Communications (NYWICI) awards a variety of scholarships ranging from $2,500 to $7,500 to select high school seniors, college students and graduate students. For the 2020 academic year, the organization selected 13 students to receive scholarships. Daejah Woolery, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’22, is one of the recipients of the Carlozzi Family Scholarship.

Woolery is currently pursuing two majors – an English major with a creative writing concentration and a film and television major with a television concentration. Her ultimate career goal is working in television screenwriting, whether that be in the writers’ room or as a showrunner.

Her passion for film and writing was the standout factor for the NYWICI board of directors.

Saundra Thomas, one of the vice presidents of scholarships and grants at NYWICI, said that even though Woolery was one of the first students to be interviewed, she immediately set herself apart from the other applicants.

“We don’t get a lot of students in film; most of the young women we interview are interested in broadcast or public relations,” Thomas said. “That was another reason she stood out –– she’s interested in film and television and production –– and I think she’s going to be phenomenal in that.”

It’s easy for me to fall into a place of cynicism. So I like to create art that acknowledges the bad but brings you to a place of hope. Daejah Woolery

Woolery tends to write character-driven dramas that are usually informed by her own experiences. Her plays center around Black main characters with intersectional identities. She cites Misha Green and Rod Sterling as her two of her inspirations in the world of television; the former is the showrunner of a drama called “Lovecraft Country,” while the latter is the creator of the show “The Twilight Zone.”

“I love the way that he (Sterling) approached science fiction as a means for talking about racial justice and the human condition, but he still managed to have some sort of optimism with it,” Woolery said. “It’s easy for me to fall into a place of cynicism. So I like to create art that acknowledges the bad but brings you to a place of hope.”

Through NYWICI, Woolery will continue to pursue her passions while also immersing herself in an environment of professionals and like-minded people in the arts. She stated that her gratitude and appreciation for the organization extends beyond the $2,500 she plans to apply to her tuition costs.

“I really like that NYWICI is involved in empowering women at every stage in their career within communications,” she said. “Yes, they give this scholarship, but it’s more than just money. Now I’m a member of NYWICI and I know there are going to be events, networking and panels on various things for women in communications.”

According to the 2020 awards press release, recipients will be recognized at the NYWICI Matrix Awards this October and will have access to professional development programs such as the Student Career Bootcamp, which is meant to aid women beginning their careers. 

Some scholarships are also attached to internships, which provide students with professional working opportunities in the field of communications. More generally, members can participate in workshops, meet with leaders in communications and serve as members of NYWICI’s committees.

Ultimately, the organization aims to bridge the gap between generations of students and professionals in the field while also providing resources and opportunities to foster the growth of young women studying and working in New York. 

“It’s a great opportunity for young women to network, to learn a lot about the field and to teach the veterans a lot about the field. That’s what makes it special. The intergenerational aspect is what makes New York Women in Communications special,” Thomas said.