Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez is breaking from unwritten Emmys tradition this year to make a difference in the life of one young woman.
The 2018 Emmy nominations will be announced in July and, as such, major TV networks and studios have been doling out massive amounts of money over the past few months to bankroll FYC campaigns for their submitted actors, creators, and shows. It’s an expensive undertaking, and often an unsuccessful one. And so this year, Rodriguez has convinced The CW to do something a little different: putting her chunk of the FYC spend toward a college scholarship for an undocumented high school student.
Rodriguez, a member of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s board of directors since 2015, partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles to locate a Latinx high school student who plans to attend Princeton University in the fall. With the Jane the Virgin star’s support, the student (who’ll remain unnamed) will be able to complete a four-year degree without financial burden.
“FYC is a bizarre dance,” the star told The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the news. “Whatever you do requires an insane amount of money.”
In one of peak TV’s great injustices, Rodriguez has never received an Emmy nomination for her role on Jane the Virgin; she did, however, win a Golden Globe in 2015, and has since been nominated twice more at the Globes in the same category. Jane the Virgin‘s fourth season is currently up for awards; it’ll return for its fifth and final season next year.
“Our show has always jumped at any opportunity to help me do something for the Latinx community,” said Rodriguez. “So I asked my showrunner, Jennie [Snyder Urman], if we could do something different with the money this year.”
As the House charges toward a vote on immigration legislation this week, it’s unclear whether Rodriguez’s chosen college-bound student is a DACA or DREAM Act beneficiary. But Jane the Virgin has dug deeply into Latinx identity and immigration issues throughout its acclaimed run. In one storyline the series tackled, Jane’s grandmother, Alba, sought a path toward citizenship after being in the country undocumented for 40 years.
For her part, Rodriguez has been vocal about the difficulties of paying off student loans. She told Teen Vogue last year that it took 11 years for her to pay off loans she took out to attend New York University’s Tisch School if the Arts and that she was only able to do so the day she was nominated for her second Golden Globe.