By Cristina DC Pastor
Vice President, FAPCNY
New York City – On its sixth year, the Fil-Am Press Club of New York announced the launch of a Journalism Scholarship program for high school students across the New York metropolitan area.
The launch was announced November 3 at the Philippine Center on Fifth Avenue as the club celebrated its anniversary with the theme “Celebrating the People Who Report the News.” At least 150 guests, including diplomatic dignitaries, musical artists, and members of the FilAm community, were in attendance.
Applications for students with an interest in pursuing a career in journalism, digital media, or media studies are now open. For further inquiries and for application forms, please email FAPCNYscholar@gmail.com. Deadline for applications is March 16, 2018. Scholarship recipients will be announced at a ceremony on May 3, 2018, to coincide with World Press Freedom Day.
“We launched the Scholarship Program to assist and encourage outstanding FilAm high school students to pursue a journalism career and prepare them to become qualified, experienced candidates who value the ethical standards of professional journalism, ready to be hired in newsrooms,” said FAPCNY President Ricky Rillera of Philippine Daily Mirror.
Cristina DC Pastor of The FilAm magazine, the chair of the Scholarship Committee, announced the search is open to high school students enrolled in any school in the Tri-state at the time of application. They are members of the school paper as reporters, columnists, editors, or photographers. Or they have a blog that is interesting and with “significant and meaningful content.”
“A regular food blog or fashion blog is not enough,” she said. “It has to have a message and with a story to tell.” The news site should be live at least a year.
The applicants will be interviewed, submit a personal essay or a video pitch on why they should be awarded the scholarship.
Other members of the Scholarship Committee are freelance writer Lumen Castaneda, Percival Cunanan of Eagle Broadcasting Corp., and Monette Rivera of The Filipino Channel.
This is only the beginning said Rillera.
“As we expand our program, we intend to pursue additional funding, so we can add more components to the program into other areas of journalism, for example, in broadcast, investigative reporting and photography,” he said. “That support will range from financial aid to professional work experience to matching them with mentors. In addition, we also intend to collaborate with news organizations for potential internships and academic institutions as part of our program.”
Former Consul General in New York Mario de Leon Jr. said he is “elated” that the FAPCNY is launching the Journalism Scholarship program for young FilAms.
“You have started re-purposing your organization to the future with a program that will help sustain a breed of writers, photographers and multimedia practitioners that will become professional journalists whose only quest is to relentlessly find the truth,” he said during the launch ceremony. “Tough words indeed, but we should ‘aim high’ to achieve our mission.”
(Photos by Marivir R. Montebon. Featured photo is Amb. Mario de Leon Jr., who keynoted the 6th anniversary party of the FAPCNY)