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Four students awarded more than $10,000 in scholarships

The Western Washington chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has awarded four scholarships to college students that total more than $10,000. The scholarship committee chose these four from a robust pool of 22 applicants from schools such as the University of Washington, Western Washington University and Pacific Lutheran University.

These distributions are an increase from the previous year’s and aim to alleviate a student’s academic financial burden.

Two scholarships of $3,500 each are going to Holly Thorpe, a junior at the University of Washington, and Daniella Beccaria, a junior at Western Washington University.

Daniella Beccaria

Daniella Beccaria

These two students demonstrated a strong commitment to journalism and visual journalism that impressed the scholarship committee.

“I find small, daily papers to be the lifeblood of communities like the one I grew up in,” Thorpe wrote. “I aim to give back to communities like that one with sincere, personal reporting. I view the opportunity to report for a paper like the one I grew up with as an opportunity for profound growth as a journalist.”

In the essay she submitted, Beccaria wrote, “I recently worked for the Klipsun Magazine on campus and photographed a young ballerina training to be professional, and I spent a few weeks just getting to know her and her daily life. It was the first time I had spent so much time with a source, and I established a connection that helped tell a more honest and true story. This is what I love about journalism and why I am following this career path – I love the connections it creates, the power it has to broaden perspectives and its ability to inform and educate society.”

The $2,500 June Anderson Almquist Memorial Scholarship goes to Joanna Kresge, a 31-year-old undergraduate at the University of Washington and mother of two who returned to school after serving as a photojournalist in the Air Force for five years.

Joanna Kresge

Joanna Kresge

The chapter is also awarding a fourth scholarship of at least $1,500 to LaVendrick Smith, a junior at the University of Washington, noting his promising work at the Tacoma News Tribune and the Seattle Times. The amount for this scholarship will be raised through raffle sales at the June 13 awards gala.

Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you to everyone else that applied.


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