Alcorn student Joy Thornton selected as a National Geographic Content HBCU Media Scholarship Program recipient

National Geographic has selected an Alcorn State University journalism student as one of its scholarship program recipients.

Joy Thornton, a junior mass communications major from Pass Christian, Mississippi, is one of seven students selected as National Geographic Content HBCU Media Scholarship Program recipients. Now in its second year, the program grants $10,000 to qualified students interested in factual storytelling and filmmaking careers who attend Alcorn, Grambling State University, Howard University, Spelman College, Texas Southern University, and Virginia State University.

Each recipient will participate in the National Geographic Media Scholars Immersive Experience Program, a two-week immersion program at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., from May 30 – June 7. The immersion program aims for participants to gain valuable exposure and experience learning from experts at a strong global entertainment brand with a rich history in adventure and scientific discovery, exploration, and dynamic storytelling.

Being selected for the program is an awesome feat for Thornton. The young journalist takes pride in earning an opportunity of this magnitude during her college journey.

“It honestly doesn’t feel real yet,” said Thornton. “I don’t think it will hit me until I’m in D.C. this summer. But, I am proud of myself for rising to the occasion, and I feel honored to represent Alcorn.”

The recipients, who will receive an executive mentor for at least six months, will also learn about different lines of businesses, from traditional media to experiences that bring the National Geographic brand to consumers worldwide. Howard University alumna Lauren Jackson, a senior line producer at National Geographic and a Daytime EMMY nominated media professional, will be Thornton’s mentor.

Thornton anticipates shadowing Jackson, experiencing campus life at Nat Geo, and exploring Washington, D.C. for the first time.

“I am most excited about visiting the National Geographic campus and seeing everything they offer. I am excited to meet my mentor, the executives, and the staff at National Geographic. I know they will immerse us in all things media, so I am excited to see their facilities. I have never been to Washington, D.C., so I am excited to see it for the first time.”

The opportunity puts Thornton with other bright young journalism majors, which motivates her to enhance her current abilities while adding new tools to her skillset.

“I hope to sharpen my networking skills. I anticipate being surrounded by the best of the best, so I hope to make lasting connections. I know this program will open the door to many opportunities.”

Thornton applauds the company for providing a space for HBCU students to thrive and accomplish their goals.

“This is a great step in the right direction. Giving HBCU students a chance to expand their talents and gain new experiences is amazing. To know that there are people in the room advocating for students like me is a great feeling."