Foot in the Door Fellowship

Foot in the Door-2018-003

About the Fellowship

Each year, the LA Press Club pairs five talented journalists from communities historically excluded from the media with newsroom veterans to actively work on securing a valuable work opportunity. More than a mentoring relationship, this will be a direct partnership to figure out how to launch career dreams and take concrete steps together to get there.

Who Can Apply

This fellowship is open to any early-career journalist in Los Angeles looking to move to their next big opportunity. You might be a recent grad, in an entry-level position, or completing an internship at a media company. If you have been in journalism for less than five years, you should apply!

Application Timeline

* December 17, 2021 — Extended Deadline
* January 21, 2022 — Fellows Announced
* February 7, 2022 — Fellowship Begins
* July 2022 — Fellowship Culminates

Ready to Apply?

This year, the Los Angeles Press Club fellows will also receive a $2,000 stipend! Apply today and don't miss out on this awesome opportunity. Got a question? Email

Meet Our Mentors


Ashley Alvarado
Southern California Public Radio

Ashley Alvarado is the director of community engagement at KPCC, Southern California Public Radio. She works closely with KPCC leadership and content teams to develop strategies and opportunities to engage new and existing audiences across platforms. She is focused on engagement and source development as a means to diversify the sourcing in news coverage and on shows, help enrich programming and grow audience.

Among her efforts is Feeding the Conversation, a series of engagement-sourcing gatherings that bring together members of the community with KPCC journalists around specific themes or coverage areas. Her work with community engagement began at the Center for Investigative Reporting, where she served as community news editor and oversaw the news-engagement and public engagement staff at its California Watch and The Bay Citizen projects.

The Oregon native is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where she earned degrees in journalism and Spanish.


Catalina Villegas
Spectrum News 1

Catalina Villegas is an anchor and reporter for Spectrum News 1 in Los Angeles. She anchors "Your Weekend," a one-hour news show Saturdays at 5 p.m. Catalina moved to the San Francisco Bay Area from Colombia in the late '90s. She attended UC Berkeley, earning a degree in political science. She has worked at the local, national and international level for stations ranging from CNN to CBS, NBC and Univision. This veteran journalist is known for her passion and extensive experience in every area of the newsroom, from anchoring to producing and reporting.

Catalina has covered everything from the Deep Web to snowstorms, politics and more. Her favorite beat is immigration and social justice. Her bilingual and bicultural skills give her a deep understanding of the growing Latino community in the U.S., providing her with the unique ability to share those untold stories with an English-speaking audience.

Volunteering and mentoring is important for Catalina, who is always looking for ways to give back. A certified scuba diver, in her spare time, she loves to travel, read and dance.


Shana Nys Dambrot
L.A. Weekly

Shana Nys Dambrot is an art critic, curator and author based in downtown L.A. She is the Arts Editor for the L.A. Weekly, and a contributor to Flaunt, Art & Cake, and Artillery.

She studied art history at Vassar College, writes book and catalog essays, curates and juries exhibitions, is a dedicated Instagram photographer and is the author of the experimental novella "Zen Psychosis" (2020, Griffith Moon).

She speaks at galleries, schools and cultural institutions nationally, and is a member of ArtTable and the L.A. Press Club, and sits on the Boards of Art Share-LA and the Venice Institute of Contemporary Art, the Advisory Council of Building Bridges Art Exchange, and the Brain Trust of Some Serious Business.

EL SEGUNDO, CA-JUNE 20, 2019: B.J. Terhune, Assistant Editor, Metro, Los Angeles Times

B.J. Terhune
Los Angeles Times

B.J. Terhune is the deputy Metro editor for the Los Angeles Times and oversees online breaking news coverage for L.A. and California, including stories on crime, courts and natural disasters.

Previously, she was an editor on The Times’ online copy desk, and she shared in the staff’s 2016 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of the San Bernardino terrorist attack.

Before joining The Times in 2015, she was a manager and editor at several newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Orlando Sentinel. She graduated from the University of Florida.


Emily Dugdale

I joined KPCC/LAist in 2018 as our general assignment reporter, and a year later, I became our criminal justice and veterans reporter.

Currently, I am working on a one-year collaboration with the non-profit newsroom ProPublica on a series of investigative stories focusing on institutional racism in the Antelope Valley. Previously, I co-reported and produced the Offshore podcast from Honolulu Civil Beat. I spent most of my early career reporting for news outlets in the Bay Area.

I was born in Colombia and grew up in the Evergreen State.

Foot in the Door Fellowship Class of 2021


Sarahi Apaez

Sarahi is a bilingual freelance multimedia journalist passionate about covering culture, gentrification, identity, and gender issues.

Previously, Sarahi interned at the Long Beach Post as a reporter, photographer, and videographer covering arts and culture. Before that, Sarahi reported for and mentored young journalists at VoiceWaves, a youth media program in Long Beach.

Sarahi is a graduate of Humboldt State University where she reported on disenfranchised communities for the English and Spanish monthly student newspaper, El Leñador, and the student-run radio station.


Nancy Guan

Nancy, 25, is a recent graduate of the M.S. journalism program at USC where she focused on writing and audio storytelling.

Her journalistic experience is varied and includes reporting on gentrification, art, food, culture and community news. Following her love of audio and public media, Nancy interned at KCRW last spring and worked for a hyperlocal publication, the Alhambra Source, upon graduating, where she reported on local elections, city measures and other issues.

She hopes she can continue to highlight minority communities and issues of inequity through local journalism.


Diego Pineda

Diego Pineda Davila, 24, is a Guatemalan multimedia journalist from North Carolina currently living in Los Angeles. He graduated from Elon University in 2019 with a B.A. in journalism. At Elon, he produced and reported for the first-ever all-Spanish broadcast shows of Elon News Network and ETalk, as well as the first-ever bilingual edition of The Pendulum, the student-run newspaper.

He began his career at the New York Post and recently finished an entertainment apprenticeship at The Marketing Arm.

He hopes to become a voice for the Latinx/Hispanic community.


Priyanka Suryaneni

Priyanka Suryaneni, 35, hails from an agricultural family in India. Observing her grandfather's work against classism in rural communities as a child instilled in her a desire to pursue documentary filmmaking.

After a decade-long career, to better her skills, she enrolled in the specialized journalism master's program at the University of Southern California, focusing on social justice reporting and documentary production. At USC, she also built data and investigative journalism skills to tell insightful and impactful stories.


Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert

Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert is a freelance journalist living just outside the San Fernando Valley with her retired service dog, Liberty. After receiving her bachelor’s in communication from Cal Lutheran, she followed it up with a master’s degree in specialized journalism from the University of Southern California.

Katherine focuses on mental and physical health reporting, investigative techniques and criminal justice topics. She plans to continue her freelance career until she finds a staff writing opportunity that is best for her.

Foot in the Door Fellowship Class of 2020


Andrea Gutierrez

Hawken Miller, multiplatform producer for Emerging News Products intern, Washington Post, on June, 21, 2019 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

Hawken Miller


Shivani Patel


Matthew Rodriguez


Simrin Singh

Foot in the Door Fellowship Class of 2019


Imani Crenshaw

Imani, 25, is a 2017 graduate of Hampton University, where she earned a B.A. in Journalism with a concentration in theater. Imani has interned with KJLH radio, KABC and the Oxygen Network.

The Torrance native is pursuing a career in broadcast journalism.


Brett Hernandez

Brett, 34, served in the U.S. Navy from 2003 to 2011. To reintegrate back into civilian life, he started taking journalism classes at Mount San Antonio College.

Brett freelances as a photographer and content creator, writing and directing advertisements. He also created a short documentary about Veteran’s Day.


Lillian Kalish

Lillian, 24, is a freelance arts and culture journalist born and raised in L.A. working as an associate at the Bail Project, a criminal justice non-profit.

After graduating from Vassar College with a degree in political science and Chinese, Lillian moved to Yangon, Myanmar, and spent a year as a reporter for the Myanmar Times.


Tomás Rodriguez

Tomás, 24, is a bilingual journalist with a passion for video and audio storytelling. He is the first in his family to graduate from college; he completed his studies at California State University, Northridge. There, he served as editor of El Nuevo Sol, a bilingual web site.

He is currently a sports intern at KABC and hopes to become a city beat reporter.


Kalaisha Totty

Kalaisha, 22, is a recent graduate of California State University, Long Beach, where she received a degree in journalism. Kalaisha studied abroad at the Danish School of Media and Journalism, where she practiced multimedia reporting. She reported on fake news in Sweden, the European Union’s refugee relocation plan from Belgium, and victims of torture in Turkey.