Actress America Ferrera is widely known for “Ugly Betty” role and then as one of the leads in both “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” films.
While she remains active both on and behind the screen, Ferrera also finds the time to use her notoriety for good causes — recently she appeared as a judge for "The Next MacGyver" competition, an initiative to encourage young women to pursue careers in engineering.
The competition, created by Lee Zlotoff, paired five winners with judges from the entertainment industry to develop original pilots for a TV show featuring a lead female engineer. The five winners were picked from a pool of 20 finalists.
With $5,000 and a producer by the their side, Beth Keser, Jayde Lovell, Miranda Sajdak, Craig Motlong, and Shanee Edwards are set to begin producing their pilots.
“Part of why [executive Gabrielle Neimand and I] do what we do is to create strong female characters and to create content that represents women in as many diverse and compelling and strengthening ways,” said Ferrera, also owner of Take Fountain Productions.
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When it comes to the roles she chooses, the actress told Fox News Latino she often selects characters that go above and beyond the Hollywood norm.
“There’s a lot out there that hasn’t been represented in television, and it’s always exciting to do something that’s never been done before,” she said.
Another judge and notable force in entertainment is Mexican producer and writer Robert Orci, known for his work in blockbusters like “Star Trek” and “Transformers.” Orci noted that women lack inspiration to get into certain industries, such as engineering, although they are wanted and needed.
“Science and media can benefit from women because they are not inspired sufficiently by media to get into it. All the heroes that I saw as a kid were men,” he said.
While she may not wear a cape, it’s safe to say Ferrera’s role as Carmen Lowell in ‘The Sisterhood’ series could be the perfect example of a female superhero. Fans can expect to be treated to more female heroism, as a third film is currently in the early stages of production.
Ferrera had little to say about the new addition to the beloved ‘Sisterhood’ saga.
“There’s not really much to say about it other than, you know, it’s in the works and these things take time and we’ll see,” she said.
Brittany Valadez is a freelancer living in Los Angeles. Follow her on twitter at @brittanyvaladez