Brooklyn, NY — Amanda Perez, a recent graduate of Brooklyn College, received an Emmy award March 12 from the New York Chapter of the National Television Academy for a short segment she reported and produced for Transit Transit News Magazine, the television program of the Metropolitan Transit Authority. Perez, 22, received the award in the category of “historical/cultural programming: segment” at a special black tie gala on March 12 at The Marriott Marquis–Times Square.
Amanda Perez and her Emmy Award from the National Television Academy.
Perez was a senior with a double major in television and radio and history (with a minor in speech) when she landed an internship at WNYC-TV last spring. One of the first ideas she pitched to Winston Mitchell, news director of Transit Transit News Magazine, was a story on landmarks in New York City associated with George Washington. The piece, “Following Washington’s Trail,” visited locations like the Old Stone House in J.J. Byrne Park in Brooklyn, scene of a pitched fight during the Battle of Brooklyn on August 28, 1776, all the way to Fraunces Tavern, where Washington bade farewell to his officers at the end of the war. The story was broadcast last summer on WNYC-TV, channel 25 (available on Cablevision channel 22 and Time-Warner Cable channel 25).
The Emmy Award is another outstanding achievement in her young career. Perez, a graduate of New Utrecht High School who lives in Kensington with her mother, was a member of the first class of CUNY Honors College, the prestigious “college within a college” that provides free tuition, a laptop computer, and challenging academic courses to New York City’s most accomplished high school graduates. She also landed a High Five Scholarship, where recipients receive $10,000 per year for four years to support their studies. During her junior year, Perez spent a summer internship at WB-11 news, learning about the behind-the-scenes world of television news and stepping in front of the camera for the first time.
After graduating from Brooklyn College in June 2005, Perez was offered a two-year contract to continue with Transit Transit News Magazine, where she continues to report news about the Metropolitan Transit Authority, including stories on the George Washington Bridge and the fiftieth anniversary of the first air-conditioned buses. She is also continuing her studies at Brooklyn College, where she is working toward a master of arts in history.
At the Marriott Marquis ceremonies, hosted by WNBC-Channel 4’s Jane Hanson, Perez dedicated her Emmy to her mother, telling the audience that her mother’s advice – that with an education, hard work, and passion, her daughter could make it and her dreams would undoubtedly become a reality– was responsible for her success. “My mother shed tears of joy,” reports Perez.
Perez’s Emmy weighs four and three-quarter pounds and is made of copper, nickel, silver, and gold, and is exactly like the national Emmy Award statuette. Two hundred national Emmys and three hundred regional Emmys are awarded each year. Made by R.S. Owens, the Chicago-area firm that also makes the Oscars, each statuette comes with a specially designed carrying box for travel. According to Perez, the statue provokes the same reaction in everyone who has seen it. “They all want to hold it,” she laughs.