“I want to travel and make movies that tell stories about different people and places,” says First Place participant Breyon about her hopes for her future, and despite the challenges she has faced, she is now well on her way to this goal.

Breyon entered First Place in the fall of 2016, and her team immediately began helping her build foundational skills for self-sufficiency—budgeting, maintaining her apartment, accessing health care—and providing her with support and guidance as she continued her studies at Santa Monica College.

While Breyon was originally interested in studying journalism, she missed having an artistic outlet and made the switch to entertainment technology, focusing primarily on animation.

She has excelled in this path, earning a spot in Warner Bros.’ summer 2018 filmmaking internship where her live-action short film won multiple awards at the intern film festival. She has already received an invitation to return next summer for a more advanced opportunity. As she nears the completion of her associate’s degree, Breyon has also started exploring her options for transferring to a four-year school. Currently her top choice is the Entertainment Art/Animation program at Cal State Fullerton.

Breyon’s achievements are a testament to her talent and hard work, but she also credits the guidance and support she has received from First Place for her ability keep going when things get challenging.

“I’ve learned a lot about patience and perseverance,” she says. “And I know that I can go to [youth services coordinator] Tyana any time I need help.”

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