The Canadian Youth Media Alliance (YMA) has named actor Maia Jae Bastidas as the winner of this year’s YMA Andra Sheffer Scholarship.
Awarded annually to students pursuing careers in kids entertainment, the scholarship includes a pass to both Kidscreen Summit and the Banff World Media Festival in 2022, as well as a US$3,100 (CAD$4,000) travel grant and mentorship opportunities. The total value of the scholarship is around US$6,300.
Bastidas has been featured in a handful of productions, including tween/teen anthology series Creeped Out and live-action mystery show In the Dark. She graduated from Toronto’s Ryerson University in June 2021 with a degree in film, and has since been working as a production coordinator at Headspinner Productions (Denis and Me).
Bastidas is the seventh person to win the Andra Sheffer Scholarship, which was established in 2017. In 2019—the last year it was offered, due to pandemic disruptions—Caitlin Aherne and Jadiel Dowlin were double recipients. Since winning his award, Dowlin has partnered with Sinking Ship to produce hybrid kids series Zombra: Ghoul Detective, as well as hosting the YMA’s 2021 Awards of Excellence.