BOSTON (February 22, 2022) – Boston public media producer GBH has awarded five fellowships to early-career writers who will bring diverse viewpoints and BIPOC representation to Work It Out Wombats!, a new animated GBH Kids series for PBS. The GBH Kids Scriptwriting Fellowship aims to diversify the pipeline of writers for both the series and the greater children’s media industry by providing early-career writers, who are members of underrepresented groups, with hands-on learning experience in television writing for children.

“The GBH Kids team is incredibly excited to welcome our five accomplished scriptwriting fellows to Work It Out Wombats!,” said GBH Kids Executive Producers Marcy Gunther and Marisa Wolsky. “We can’t wait to see how each individual brings their unique style, perspective, and experience to the Wombats world.”

Work It Out Wombats! is a new animated series for kids ages 3-6 from GBH Kids and Pipeline Studios. The series stars Malik, Zadie and Zeke—three energetic and creative marsupial siblings who live with their grandmother in her treehouse apartment complex, known as the Treeborhood. The playful trio will demonstrate computational thinking (CT) for preschoolers, a way of thinking that enables them to solve problems, express themselves, and accomplish tasks using the practices, processes and ideas at the core of computer science. Work It Out Wombats! will premiere on PBS KIDS in early 2023.

The GBH Kids Scriptwriting Fellowship is taking place virtually, with weekly writing assignments, along with mentorship and feedback sessions. The Fellowship will cover all aspects of writing for GBH Kids, with support on writing stories that specifically engage children in STEM learning. It also will provide guidance for the writers’ individual career development within the children’s media field.

The Fellowship is led by Head Writer Kathy Waugh, whose Head Writing credits include Peep and the Big Wide World, Curious George and Arthur, and who also co-created and Executive Story Edited Molly of Denali; Senior Producer Gabe Monje-Paulson, who is also a Senior Manager, Development & Current for Mattel TV; and Production Manager Melissa Martin Pollard, who has years of experience coordinating and production managing large series with multiple episodes, including the Work It Out Wombats! TV series.

Work It Out Wombats! Scriptwriting Fellows:

Mercedes Brazier-Thurman is a Harlem-based screenwriter and abolitionist educator from Detroit. Mercedes has a BA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in Film and Dramatic Writing and an MA in Educational Theatre from NYU’s Steinhart School of Education.

Shemeka Foster is a New York-based writer, educator, and youth motivational speaker. Her mission is to write stories that empower children and help build their self-esteem. Shemeka is a member of Women In Animation, Children’s Media Association, and Act One.

Sofia Geck is a writer and composer based in Brooklyn, NY. Her children’s writing has been featured in Sesame Workshop’s “Caring for Each Other” initiative as well as the animated web series Gnome Bros.

Cheyenne “Casper” Lynn is a Toronto Film School graduate. They produced an award-winning short film, Her Little Rose, recipient of the Writers for Writers Diversity Initiative in 2019 and the Al MaGee Diverse Screenwriter Award.

Dejen Tesfagiorgis is the founder of a media education startup and has appeared in videos for Disney+, NBC News Digital, Bleacher Report and Cosmo. Dejen performs standup, improv and sketch regularly throughout NYC, and trained at Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.

Major funding for this fellowship is provided by: a Ready To Learn Grant from the U.S. Department of Education; the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American People; and public television viewers.

The contents of this Scriptwriting Fellowship were developed under a grant from the Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. [PR/Award No. S295A200004, CFDA No. 84.295A]


About GBH Kids
GBH Kids is one of the top producers for public media, creating educational content for kids, parents, caregivers and teachers, including iconic PBS Kids programs such as the award-winning Arthur and Molly of Denali, digital series such as Scribbles and Ink, games, apps and podcasts. GBH Kids, based in Boston, also works closely with PBS LearningMedia, providing digital curricula for more than 2 million teachers across all 50 states. GBH Kids is committed to equity and access to educational media and the healthy development of all children. As the inventor of closed captioning and audio description, GBH is dedicated to making media accessible and inclusive. Find more information at