Juliana Luna at Times Square, New York. Photo by Emmanuell Bryan.
Juliana Luna at Times Square, New York. Photo by Emmanuell Bryan.

This article was written by BenitoLink intern Juliana Luna

For two days, and one night I attended The Emma Bowen Annual Summer Conference in Tarrytown, New York. Emma Bowen Foundation (EBF) fellows come to the conference to receive hands-on professional development and practice networking.  

Bowen was a community activist who advocated for diversity and representation in the media and politics. For many years, the foundation bearing her name has provided funding for internships for young students to learn to become leaders and professionals.

Emma Bowen Foundation has partially funded BenitoLink’s eight-week summer internship program since 2018. 

Through the organization, students of color all over the nation are placed into paid internships in media and tech companies including FOX, Spectrum, Warner Bros., Discovery and HBO MAX.

Nearly 100 interns traveled to New York and attended empowering presentations about professionalism, achieving goals and the importance of representation.

The Emma Bowen Foundation’s national advisory council, consisting of allumi, entrepreneurs, representatives from media companies and journalists served as speakers and offered advice to the participants. They also discussed what led them to where they are today.

Many speakers told the fellows that there’s no harm in asking for a job. 

“We never know until we try it out” was a repetitive phrase being said through the conference.

EBF alumna Jessica Myers urged fellows to not let a resume define them.

Some presentations covered what steps to take to achieve career goals.

Another focus was representation in the workplace. Many speakers mentioned the need to “be the change” in the media, emphasizing that young people of color need to break into the industry.

Entertainment journalist Chris Whitherspoon, told a heartwarming story of his decision to come to New York alone, bringing only his goals and dreams. 

One unforgettable piece of advice Whitherspoon had heard and shared with us was “to become the representation we don’t see.”




The BenitoLink Internship Program is a paid, skill-building program that prepares local youth for a professional career. This program is supported by Monterey Peninsula Foundation AT&T Golf Tour, United Way, Taylor Farms and the Emma Bowen Foundation.


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