Point Park SAEM Student Receives $20,000 in Scholarships from Taco Bell Foundation Student Profile
Meet Bryana Appley
- Sports, Arts & Entertainment Management
- April 2021
- College Activities
- SAEM Club and Point Park campus tour guide
- Johnstown, Pa.
- High School
- Richland High School
- Now Living In
- Pittsburgh, Pa.
- Dream Job
- Professional recording artist
- Hobbies & Interests
- Songwriting, singing, guitar, piano, graphic design, reading, hanging out with friends, traveling, attending concerts and adventuring around Pittsburgh
"Bryana’s positive and upbeat personality is infectious. You can tell from the minute you meet her that she is a people person and will create a memorable customer experience. The SAEM program allows students to explore the city and make connections while still in school. Bryana is able to capitalize on part-time opportunities like our game day employment at Heinz Field, while still volunteering in other facets of the industry and staying active with campus activities. It’s ideal and highly recommended to have tangible experiences before leaving Point Park!"
"I have had such a positive experience thus far during my time at Point Park! The SAEM curriculum, just makes sense and directly correlates with the degree and career you are pursuing ... No matter where life takes me, I hope I will someday find myself in a position to inspire others to be happy with who they are and follow their dreams. Point Park has definitely inspired this for me. The faculty here truly practice what they preach and teach in the classroom. Our University does a great job of keeping classes current and connected to the industry."
What attracted you to Point Park University?
Pioneer Records, Point Park University's own record label, is the main reason why I applied to Point Park. It has always been a dream of mine to record my music professionally and have the resources necessary to launch a music career. I soon discovered that the sports, arts and entertainment management program was exactly what I needed to pursue. I knew that by going to Point Park, I would be able to achieve a career-focused, high-quality degree in the entertainment industry all the while pursuing my dreams as a singer/songwriter.
Tell us about your national academic scholarships from Taco Bell.
Taco Bell has unpredictably became a major part of my life and professional journey. I started working for the company when I was 16 in Johnstown, Pa. That’s how I found out that every year Taco Bell awards millions of dollars in scholarships to young dreamers and innovators of the future.
College was always something I never thought I’d be able to afford, but always dreamed about completing. I took a shot in the dark when I applied my senior year of high school. In August 2017, I was selected to receive a $10,000 academic award from Taco Bell Foundation's Live Más Scholarship program.
My journey with Taco Bell continues as I was then invited by the president and CEO of Charter Foods North to sing at their regional Christmas party in Youngstown, Ohio. This experience was surreal getting to share my story with the restaurant management and learn more about the business of the company. Moving forward, I was lucky to attend a professional workshop this past summer in Philadelphia hosted by the corporate team of the Taco Bell Foundation. I plan to go again this July and catch up with other scholarship recipients and fellow friends.
Most recently, this past May I was unforeseeably selected a second time to receive the scholarship. I was overjoyed that such an extraordinary company chose to invest in my future once again. Taco Bell is an incredible franchise and I am honored to have them a part of my journey.
I won both scholarships based on videos (see below) I submitted to the scholarship program explaining my goals, my education, my dreams and my passion to help others.
As an incoming junior SAEM major, what career-related experiences have you had so far?
- Account services intern, NFM+Dymun (this summer)
- Event intern, Women Who Rock
- Promotions Intern, Stage AE
- Club attendant, Heinz Field
- Cleveland Cavaliers Sales Team
- Brand ambassador, Giant Eagle and Culinart Group
How have Point Park’s faculty impacted you?
Point Park's faculty have impacted me immensely. The professors really take the time to get to know you. One of my first classes freshman year, City-University Life, was taught by Instructor Amanda Dabbs. This course explored all aspects of Pittsburgh and college life, which made me feel right off the bat very welcomed here.
Diving into degree focused course work, the SAEM faculty really make it feel like one big family. You hear a lot about Professor Ed Traversari, who is the man to get to know. Ed is one of the most down-to-earth, experienced and knowledgeable individuals I’ve ever met who is always inclined to help students network in the field.
Ed actually introduced me to instructor and future mentor Melinda Colaizzi, (pictured right), who is also a singer/songwriter, CEO and industry expert.
Melinda took me under her wing and showed me a world of opportunities including the chance to perform at iHeart Studio for the Women Who Rock competition. This experience led me to taking her class, Emerging Trends in the Music Industry, where my passion was further nourished and ignited. Melinda, who is the founder of Women Who Rock, then graciously asked me if I wanted to be the organization’s spring intern and I could not have been more excited. Learning under someone as established as Melinda and her incredible team was surreal. The fact that I was able to complete, for credit, an internship focused on empowering women in the music industry was unfathomable.
Instructor Jason Varnish’s Ticketing 101 class was also great because he always shared his experiences working at concerts around the country for his company, Bom Advisers. He would always come to class with real-world insight that was very beneficial for us as students to hear.
Lastly, Professor Bob Derda’s Personal Branding and Business Development directly coincided with everything I was doing in the real world with internships and jobs.
I have had such a positive experience thus far during my time at Point Park! The SAEM curriculum, just makes sense and directly correlates with the degree and career you are pursuing.
From City-University Life to Professor Derda’s Personal Branding and Business Development course, I feel that I am preparing for a professional career and taking advantage of every opportunity Downtown Pittsburgh has to offer. It’s just so awesome.
No matter where life takes me, I hope I will someday find myself in a position to inspire others to be happy with who they are and follow their dreams. Point Park has definitely inspired this for me.
The faculty here truly practice what they preach and teach in the classroom. Our University does a great job of keeping classes current and connected to the industry.
The energy at Point Park is great — everyone is passionate and loves what they do. I am lucky to learn, grow with and be a part of a program so special!