The Women in Animation (WIA) Scholarship Program is devoted to furthering the academic efforts of deserving animation college students who demonstrate artistic talent, a passion for animation, a financial need, and a promising future in our industry. Applicants who have identified themselves as female or non-binary, and who are enrolled in schools all over the world to pursue various aspects of animation production, were encouraged to apply.

Out of 97 applications from 49 schools across US states as well as Canada, United Kingdom, Spain, China, Germany, Indonesia, Sweden and Vietnam this year, the WIA scholarship committee selected these 10 amazing students as most deserving of scholarships, in addition to 26 students as honorable mentions. The announcement was made at the 2021 BRIC Summit on March 5, 2020.


Tessa Abrams

California Institute of the Arts


Originally from a small town in New Jersey, Tessa is currently studying Character Animation at the California Institute of the Arts. Her love of storytelling and drawing funny faces in her notebooks during class led her into art and animation. Upon graduating, she hopes to pursue a career as a story artist and director in the animation industry.

Juliana Belmonte

Sheridan College


My name is Juliana Belmonte and I’m a Brazilian animation student living in Toronto. I am passionate about Storyboarding and 2D Rigging, and I love stories about overcoming adversities through strength, love and freedom. I hope that using my voice as an artist to tell stories that are true to my heart, I can help create a world where all girls and women are free to tell their own!

Anayis Der Hakopian

Royal College of Art


I am a British Armenian Director and 2D/Mix Media Animator based in West London and I am currently studying an MA in Narrative Animation at the Royal College of Art. Outside my studies, I spend my time doing freelance animation alongside my crazy howling Jack Russells, playing music, reading and writing stories, watching superhero movies and co-running the Fox and Pigeon Collective.

Sebrina Gao

ArtCenter College of Design


Sebrina Gao is currently studying at ArtCenter College of Design. She creates believable environments for animation and is interested in using color and mood to tell story!

Vi Le

School of Visual Arts


Vi (Levi) Le is a Vietnamese third-year student at School of Visual Arts, New York. With a love for character design and animation, she wants to recreate a glimpse of life and showcase each individual’s beauty. She hopes to bring joy to anyone seeing her work.

Winnie Mai

School of Visual Arts


I’m Winnie Mai and I’m currently a student at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, studying both 2D and 3D. I’m the president of the Women in Animation club at SVA and I do my best to provide opportunities and resources outside of the classroom for my fellow peers, while also promoting diversity within the industry.

Christina Oyebade

Loyola Marymount University


Originally from the Bay Area, Christina currently attends Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television. When she’s not working on a film, she’s illustrating for her school’s newspaper, daydreaming about character designs, or curating a music playlist for every occasion.

Nadine Promes



Nadine Promes is a passionate storyteller and a world citizen. Born in Maracaibo, Venezuela but raised by cultures from around the world, her goal as a storyteller is to build bridges to unify and blur the lines between what makes us ‘different.’ She loves graphic novels and animated content and works tirelessly towards the day her own content is viewed by many through either of those two mediums.

Gaby Soto

Ringling College of Art and Design


My name is Gaby Soto and I am a Venezuelan artist studying Computer Animation at Ringling College. I have had a strong passion for animation since I was very young so I have made it my goal to one day work in the animation industry.

Jiamu Tao

School of Visual Arts


Character designer, storyboard artist and animator graduating from School of Visual Arts in 2021. Aspiring to make animation that stands a point.


WIA is grateful for the generosity of our sponsors and partners that have extended their offers to many more deserving students this year than in the past. The 2021 Honorable Mention winners will be able to further expand their skill sets through various software packages and workshops:

Animation Mentor will offer one WIA Animation Scholarship winner a six-week workshop and will allow that awardee the choice of several courses. With their choice of 13 different classes, including Maya Workshop: Animation Basics, Cartoony Animation for 3D Animators, and Animation Mentor’s brand new workshop 2D Animation: Walk Cycles & Character Movement, the student winner will have many options to best personalize this educational opportunity.

Autodesk is supporting this year’s recipients with licenses of their 3D modeling and animation software. Winners will have the choice between one-year subscriptions of Autodesk Maya or Autodesk 3ds Max.

For yet another year, Toon Boom will be supporting the WIA Scholarship Program with both software and scholarship funds. One-year bundled licenses of Storyboard Pro and Harmony Premium will be awarded to each finalist as well as virtual training and contribution to the WIA scholarship fund to be split among the three winners.

To support the participants, Unity will be providing 15 Annual Unity Pro licenses and 15 Annual ArtEngine licenses to help female animators gain employable skills and practice of real-time 3D tools and technologies used in the animation industry.


The following Honorable Mention students were awarded software packages from one of the above sponsors:

Alyssa Antolin – Northeastern University

Emma Barany – Maryland Institute College of Art

Samantha Blum – Montserrat College of Art

Lorena Cano Acosta – Savannah College of Art and Design

Nia Coffer – Savannah College of Art and Design

Qianyue Ding – School of Visual Arts

Elizabeth Eaton – Sheridan College

Stefie Gan – University of Southern California

Gabrielle Harder – Drexel University

Sarah Harrison – Pratt Institute

Sunny Hong – Pratt Institute

Nelli Iliasova – Sheridan College

Joie Lim – School of Visual Arts

Jiani Lu – School of Visual Arts

JoWayne McFarlane – Capilano University

Vasilina Mikhaylova – Loyola Marymount

Aileen Modesto – Rochester Institute of Technology

Judit Mercedes Nieto palomaresUniversitat Oberta de Catalunya

Micah Rimando – New York Institute of Technology

Julia Skala – Filmakademie Baden-Wurttenberg

Shaena Trotman – Sheridan College

Kate Vaillant – Ringling College of Art and Design

Marta Valverde Martínez – FX Animation

Chloe Weberg – Azusa Pacific University

Winnie Wu – School of Visual Arts

Sofia Zitouni – School of Visual Arts


In addition to the WIA Scholarship Program, please check out a growing list of scholarship opportunities offered by many other domestic and international organizations. If you have any scholarship opportunities that you would like to share with the WIA student members, please contact us directly at [email protected].


Every year, WIA is devoted to help as many students as possible. In 2020, eight students were selected as most deserving of scholarship recipients. Please check here for their portfolios as well as the entire scholarship program along all the opportunities.

WIA President Marge Dean and Chair of Education Hsiang Chin Moe presenting the awards to three LA-based winners: Marion Parajes, Minh-Chau Nguyen and Clarisse Chau at BRIC 2020 Talent + Innovation Summit.

WIA President Marge Dean presenting the awards to Clarisse Chau at BRIC 2020 Talent + Innovation Summit.