High School Workshops: Creating Opportunities, Crafting Friendships

August 2, 2012

In 2009, when Cheryl Arkliss was still attending Crenshaw High School, she won a scholarship as part of the Writers Guild Foundation’s High School Workshop program. Without it, she wouldn’t have been able to complete her first year of college at Tuskegee University.

Today, she’s a junior there, with an eye toward graduate school at Valdosta State University and a career as a high school guidance counselor. She won the scholarship with her short script, The Love Hopeful, about a high school crush.

“It motivated me even more to perform better in school,” she said. “It really proved to me that I really do have some kind of talent.”

Recently, Arkliss returned to Los Angeles for a visit, and met with Kendell Shaffer, her HSW instructor and mentor. They’re still friends.

“Cheryl’s still stepping outside herself, starting her third year of college, questioning everything,” Shaffer said of her protege. “She now loves life, and she’s hopeful.”

This year, the Writers Guild Foundation awarded high school junior Keyana B. Hayes a $250 Screenwriting Workshop Scholarship for her excellent script, Never Give Up, written in the workshop at Susan Miller Dorsey High School.

The workshop, taught by veteran instructor Fred Rappaport, ended with a thrill for those selected: Professional actors came to the school and performed Keyana’s screenplay as well several other outstanding scripts from the workshop. Her scholarship will be applied towards tuition at the college she will attend.