SMC — A lot of money is made producing promotional spots for television shows and films, and thanks to a just-launched program at Santa Monica College, some if it could soon be in the hands of formerly at-risk students.

The one-year program, which is a partnership between the South Bay Center for Counseling (SBCC) and PromaxBDA, an association of broadcast promotion and marketing professionals, kicked off on Monday with 25 students.

The students, 14 of whom were already enrolled at SMC, are from cities around the region including Compton, Wilmington and East Los Angeles and were selected from a pool of 308 applicants, according to organizers. Each student will receive a scholarship that covers SMC fees, equipment, transportation and childcare.

The curriculum begins with basic math and English workshops and proceeds to cover project management, digital video fundamentals, promo writing and production.

Graduates will earn a writer/producer/editor certificate. They could step into jobs that pay up to $80,000 per year, program officials said in a press release.

“This is a great opportunity for the college and the students, who will have a shot at getting some great jobs in the industry,” said Frank Dawson, chair of SMC’s communication department and a former promotional writer and producer at CBS and NBC.

Jonathan Block-Verck, president and CEO of PromaxBDA, said the effort is believed to be the first of its kind in the country.

“This program will help these young people understand there’s a future in creative ability,” he said.

The program is funded by the Every Child Foundation and a state grant, PromaxBDA and SBCC said.

SBCC is a non-profit organization in Los Angeles dedicated to developing career pathway programs for low-income individuals.

nickt@smdp.com

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