Twenty-seven-year-old Jessica Curney of Wixom, Michigan, a military veteran who at one point in her life experienced homelessness, has received her first big career break. She has been selected for the prestigious Television Academy Foundation Internship Program, one of just 40 students chosen by Television Academy members from across the country for the 2022 summer program.
At age 18, Curney enrolled in the U.S. National Guard as a means to support her family after her mother suffered a back injury that resulted in her unemployment, leaving the Curney family homeless.
“I had a late start to my adult life and my aspiring career,” said Curney. “I was homeless and joined the military as a means to support myself and my family. I always aimed to attend college to study film and TV, yet there were other things in my life that needed to be prioritized. Four years later I attended a local community college and then transferred to the University of Michigan where every opportunity I was excited about was swept from my feet due to the COVID pandemic.”
Curney is a 2022 graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she majored in film, television and media and screenwriting. In 2022 Curney won second place in the University of Michigan’s Hopwood Program writing contest for her animated feature script titled “Sunshine.” She also covered the television beat for The Michigan Daily.
Curney is interning remotely this summer in the children’s programming development department at Moonbug Entertainment in Los Angeles through the Television Academy Foundation’s Internship Program. Moonbug Entertainment is a media company that creates, produces and distributes children’s video and audio content. Her internship includes reviewing scripts and gaining insight into the development and production processes of such animated children’s programs as “CoComelon,” “Oddbods” and “Morphle.”
“I am honored and over the moon to have the opportunity to be a part of such a prestigious internship,” said Curney. “It was something that I’ve always wanted to attain throughout my entire college career and to have been chosen makes me so excited for what this internship has to offer.”
Curney attended Southfield High School in Southfield, Michigan.
“Growing up, the only escape I had from my flawed environment was a small box TV where I immersed myself in countless hours of my favorite TV shows,” said Curney. “I was so inspired by what I saw that I began to write my own shows. What started off as a way to imagine myself in a completely different world, my love for TV turned into a deep passion that I couldn’t ignore.”
“This internship not only makes up for what was taken away from me during the pandemic and what I wasn’t able to do in the early years of my adulthood, but it allows me to get more authentic hands-on experience that I haven’t been able to attain,” continued Curney. “This internship will surely open a lot more doors and give me the necessary guidance for my ultimate career path, for which I will be forever grateful. I’ve struggled with financial concerns as well as issues of self-confidence and identity. Although my self-confidence is still developing, I’ve come out of my shell enough to take my shot at new opportunities.”
After completing her internship, Curney plans on pursuing a career as an animation writer.
Other than her love for television, film and animation, Curney says her dogs Simba and Nala have the keys to her heart and one can often catch her “either in the gym or sitting in a hammock by the water drinking a mega smoothie or crocheting a pair of socks.”
For more information on the Foundation, please visit TelevisionAcademy.com/Foundation.