HFC’s $2,500+Journalism Scholarship Will Help College Students with Tuition During Pandemic; Deadline Sept. 15

By Edna R. Bautista, Ed.D.
HFC Journalism Scholarship Chair

COVID-19 has altered the college experience but students still must go back to school and continue their education, whether online or on campus (modified with socially distanced classrooms). What has not changed is tuition—it still must be paid. In uncertain economic times, money to afford a college education is even more of a concern.

Hawaii Filipino Chronicle is here to help by offering a $2,500+ scholarship to students specifically majoring in journalism and mass communications (JMC) at any of the four-year accredited universities in the islands.

The scholarship was established last year in celebration of the Chronicle’s 25th publication anniversary date. Chona Montesines Sonido, publisher and managing editor, explained that the Chronicle set up a Filipino Media Foundation to raise funds to support college students and invest in the future of Filipinos working in JMC-related fields.

The under-representation of Filipinos in the field along with declining enrollments in JMC schools adversely affect the number of qualified graduates entering the workforce. The Chronicle hopes that its journalism scholarship program is a good motivator for local Filipino students to study and work in Hawaii’s media and reverse the situation.

“We need future Fil-Am writers and leaders in the fields of journalism and mass communications. We are short of Filipino journalists who will continue our work and serve the Filipinos and our community-at-large in the future,” Sonido said.

“We need good journalists who are the ‘eyes and ears of the community’, and the Chronicle believes that we must build a pool of journalists in the future to safeguard our democracy and create a group that reports ‘checks and balances’ actions happening in the government and around us. With good reporting in place by well-trained journalists, we can secure a fair, informative and steady flow of news in our community and around the world,” she said. “It is important that we support these students who are preparing for their future in the JMC field.”

Eligible college students in Hawaii are encouraged to apply. The deadline is September 15, 2020.

• Filipino or part-Filipino
• U.S. citizen
• Hawaii high school graduate
• Full-time college student (at least 12 credits undergraduate) enrolled at an accredited four-year public or private college/university in Hawaii during the 2020-2021 academic year
• Journalism, mass communications or media-related major (declared on transcript)
• 3.0 cumulative GPA (on 4.0 scale)

Eligible students should send the following to hfcnews@yahoo.com by the September 15, 2020, deadline. Application and reference forms may be downloaded from the Chronicle website at https://www.thefilipinochronicle.com/scholarship/.

• Completed scholarship application form
• Copy of recent college transcript (finalists may send official transcripts later for verification)
• Two reference forms in lieu of letters of recommendation
• Three samples of journalistic writing-news reporting style (may email attachments or weblinks)
• 1,000-word essay (details on the application form)

One winner will be selected by the scholarship committee and notified later in the fall semester. He/she will be profiled in an article with excerpts of his/her essay published in a future edition of the Chronicle.

PLUS…the winner may receive an additional $1,000 per academic year as a JMC major until graduation for maintaining a 3.0 GPA!

Alyssa Acob, a recent graduate from Hawaii Pacific University who double majored in Integrated Multimedia and Mass Communications, was the first HFC journalism scholarship recipient. In November 2019, she was recognized for her achievements at the HFC charity and awards banquet.

She is grateful that the scholarship helped to lighten her financial hardship, especially

when the pandemic hit hard during the last few weeks of her senior semester.

“This scholarship has also encouraged me to keep pursuing media and opened my eyes to see that there are people out there who believe in the goals and dreams of this next generation to be the next-up storytellers who will keep this legacy going,” Acob said. “I’ve been so blessed by the opportunities this scholarship has given me and hope to continue seeing aspiring journalists and media content creators go after their dreams.”

When it is safe from the coronavirus, the Chronicle will plan another fundraising event. But more money is needed now to support and sustain the annual journalism scholarship awards program. Please support the students and invest in the future of Filipinos working in JMC fields.

Donations are welcome via the Filipino Media Foundation and are 100% tax-deductible. To donate, please contact the Chronicle office at filipinochronicle@gmail.com or call (808) 678-8930. 

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