When I got the phone call that I had been selected for the Star Trek Command Training Program, I was so excited I started jumping around my college dorm room. I could not believe I had been selected. I had applied through the Television Academy Foundation at the mention of one of my professors and thought it didn’t hurt to try. Now, about six months later, I am just as excited as I was then. Interning this summer with the Television Academy Foundation and Star Trek has truly made it the best summer of my life and I am so grateful to have met so many amazing people in the Star Trek family.
My dad was a big fan of Star Trek when he was growing up and we had many conversations about the show’s importance, conversations that I’m not sure I fully understood until joining the Command Training Program. It’s a show that so many people around the world are passionate about, and I think that’s because it’s a series dedicated to telling universal stories, humanitarian stories, and stories that unite folks from wherever they may be in life.
Being able to listen and learn from others who also had parents introduce them to the series and the influence it has had on their life — to the point where they now are working on Star Trek — was amazing to see. It was an honor to be able to talk with and ask questions of so many influential people working in the Star Trek world and to be able to sit in on some production meetings and writers rooms as well. It has made me that much more excited about working in the television industry post-graduation and reaffirmed a lot of what I thought I already wanted to do. It has also opened my eyes to different aspects of storytelling that I am also interested in. And it was folks all across different aspects of production. Whether it was costuming, VFX, music, writing, etc. people are so passionate about the stories that they are able to tell through Star Trek and seeing that passion made me even more excited for life after graduation.
As a senior in college this year, I have been anxiously awaiting graduation and what might come after. Speaking to creatives who are doing something they love and making what I believe to be a tangible difference in their storytelling was so helpful in calming post-graduate anxieties and reinvigorating my own passion for storytelling- specifically telling stories I think are important to share.
I was so thankful to be able to talk about representation and inclusion within the Star Trek universe as that’s something I am personally passionate about. It felt great to know that that conversation was welcome; while I think work and conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion are never done, it was comforting to see that it was something important to everyone we were able to speak with as well. I was nicknamed Madame after Madame Guinan when I was little,so seeing characters like Beckett Mariner in Lower Decks and Michael Burnham in Discovery for me is so heartwarming. It genuinely brought me to tears sometimes when it was clear that everyone was passionate about inclusive storytelling.
One of my favorite moments from the experience was sitting in on a few of the writers' rooms for Prodigy and being able to speak with some of the writers one-on-one. I have never seen or been a part of a professional writers room before and it was such an eye opening experience that really solidified my interest in being a television writer. In addition to this, every showrunner we had the opportunity to speak to was incredible.
What I am most grateful for is how open everyone was throughout our time in the internship- to give advice, to answer questions, to learning about our lives and interests as well — and I think this willingness and openness is something that comes from the core of what Star Trek is about. I felt so included in the world from the beginning and I will always be grateful for this experience because of it.
I am excited to see all the returning seasons of Lower Decks, Discovery, and Picard and cannot wait to check out Prodigy and Strange New Worlds when they air as well. Knowing that there are such incredible people working behind the scenes to tell these stories that are so beloved makes watching them and being a fan of them even better. I will forever be grateful for this experience and even more grateful for the connections I’ve made along the way.
Jordan Young (she/her) currently attends Elon University working on her BFA in Cinema and Television Arts with a minor in theatre arts. She is really passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion in storytelling and is currently working on an undergraduate thesis that focuses on racial representation in live-action children's programming with intersections with gender and sexuality.