AAJA 2017 National Convention to Be Held in Philadelphia!

We’re so excited to announce that next year’s AAJA national convention will take place in Philadelphia! The announcement took place at the awards banquet and gala at this year’s convention in Las Vegas on Saturday (August 13):

 

We’ll keep you posted about opportunities for involvement in planning and attending, but in the meantime, please spread the word on social media and among your personal networks! And e-mail any suggestions you have for programming or panels to aajaphiladelphia@gmail.com.

Scholarship Lead: John Curley Scholarship Fund to Attend 2016 National Convention

 

The AAJA National Convention in Las Vegas, from Aug. 10 to 13 this year, will be a great opportunity to network with other journalists from around the country, to participate in panel discussions with seasoned journalists, and to attend a career fair and resume critique sessions.

AAJA-Philadelphia will help pay the expenses for one member to go to the annual convention.

Our ability to do so comes from the kind generosity of our donor, John Curley, the former president, chairman and CEO of the Gannett company, who is a strong supporter of the Philadelphia chapter of AAJA.

WHAT: The chapter will reimburse the selected member up to $1,000 in expenses to attend the convention. These expenses include the registration fee for the convention, transportation (airfare), and hotel costs. (You may be asked to share your hotel room with another AAJA-Philly member.) We will not be reimbursing for meals, taxis, or other local transportation unless your other costs are less than $1,000 total. In that case, we will reimburse these other expenses for a total of up to $1,000 as long as you have the receipts.

TO APPLY:
– You must be a current dues-paying AAJA-Philly chapter member to apply.
– We will consider current students or professionals who are trying to establish themselves in the journalism field.
– Send a one-page essay telling the AAJA-Philly board why you want to go to the convention, how you think you will benefit from it, and why you need help with the expenses. E-mail your essay to: shaw.yr@gmail.com

DEADLINE: Apply by the end of the day, Tuesday, August 2
AAJA-Philly board members will review all applications and announce the scholarship winner on Wednesday, April 3.
Expenses will be reimbursed in the form of a check after the convention. You must give us copies of your receipts.
(If a board member wants to apply, he/she will not be part of the judging process.)

OTHER REQUIREMENTS:

The winning applicant will also be required to:

– Give an informal talk at an AAJA-Philly chapter meeting, about what you learned at the convention.

– Assist in the planning, organizing or day-of duties for an AAJA-Philly event this year.

MORE INFORMATION: For more info about the convention, visit: http://www.aaja.org/category/convention/las-vegas-2016/

To see the registration fee and schedule, visit: http://www.aaja.org/schedule2016/

We encourage everyone who wants to go and who needs help with expenses to apply for this!

Vijaya L. Balaji Scholarship: We Have A Winner!

26605153672_b72b9d1c55_kWe here at AAJA-Philly extend our hearty congratulations to Kevin Yang, the winner of this year’s Vijaya L. Balaji Scholarship! He will receive a check for $1,000 to be used for college fees and books.

Kevin is currently a senior at Julia R. Masterman High School with plans to attend the University of Pennsylvania this fall for his undergraduate degree. His love for stories started early, with reading to his mother every night before he fell asleep, and later translated itself to writing for his school newspaper Voices. A story on the discrimination of Asian Americans using the model minority stereotype — the first he ever wrote for the paper — is one he remains proud of.

At the end of his junior year, he became the layout editor for Voices and attended AAJA’s JCamp that summer. This fall, he plans to join The Daily Pennsylvanian at Penn.

Kevin’s academics were outstanding, and also he conveyed a strong sense of journalistic duty and passion for giving a public voice to fellow Asian Americans. In an interview, he said: “I’m a first-generation Asian American, so I want to tell my perspective of the American dream. At JCamp, I was exposed to more diversity in the journalism field, and so for me — being from a diverse background and city — I want to use that part of me to have an impact on my community.”

As part of his scholarship responsibilities, Kevin will help spread the word about the chapter to fellow students, assist members with events, and write blog posts.

The Vijaya L. Balaji scholarship was made possible by AAJA-Philly member and former chapter president Murali Balaji in honor of his mother, who was a committed supporter of the chapter and who believed in the education of minority journalists.

UPDATE: Vijaya L. Balaji Scholarship Deadline Extended to March 31st

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UPDATE! We’ve extended the deadline of our Vijaya L. Balaji Scholarship to March 31st. Also, we are happy to announce two changes to the scholarship this year: 1) High schoolers interested in journalism are now eligible to apply, and 2) The scholarship amount has been increased to $1000.

The Philadelphia chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) is pleased to announce the Vijaya L. Balaji Scholarship, which will award $1000 to a student of any race who intends to pursue a journalism career and who is of modest financial means.

Requirements are as follows:
1) Applicants must be a high schooler, college freshman, sophomore, or junior in the 2015-16 school year.
2) College student applicants must provide a copy of his/her most recently submitted Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before receiving the scholarship money to show proof of financial need.
3) The winner needs to volunteer some time in 2016 to helping the Philadelphia chapter by recruiting other student journalists to the chapter or by assisting in organizing an event.

To apply, send:
1) A one-page essay describing your background, what you have done in journalism so far and what you plan to do in journalism as a career. Include your name, phone number, e-mail, and mailing address.
2) Names of two references, with phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
3) A transcript of your grades for college courses taken, or high-school grades if you are a freshman or high school student.

Email your application materials or any questions to AAJA-Philly’s Mentorship Director, Meeri Kim, by March 31st, 2016: meerinkim@gmail.com

Please note: Special consideration for this scholarship will be given to a student who is the first person in his or her family to go to college. The scholarship is to be used for college fees or books.

AAJA membership is not required to apply for the scholarship.

Selection process:
The AAJA-Philadelphia chapter board, former president Murali Balaji, and one non-AAJA individual who is a leader in the Asian American community will make up the selection committee.
Applicants will be asked to attend an in-person or virtual interview with the selection committee.
The winner will be announced by May 5th, 2016, and a check for $1000 will be mailed by May 31st, 2016.

The scholarship is in honor of Mrs. Vijaya L. Balaji, the late mother of former AAJA-Philadelphia president Murali Balaji. Mrs. Balaji was a committed supporter to the chapter, who believed in the education of minority journalists.

AAJA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the coverage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and helping them enter and succeed in the news industry.

ANNOUCEMENT: Vijaya L. Balaji Scholarship Now Accepting Applicants

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The Philadelphia chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) is pleased to announce the Vijaya L. Balaji Scholarship, which will award $500 to a student who intends to pursue a journalism career and who is of modest financial means.

Requirements are as follows:
1) Applicants must be a college freshman, sophomore, or junior in the 2015-16 school year.
2) Applicants must provide a copy of his/her most recently submitted Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before receiving the scholarship money to show proof of financial need.
3) The winner needs to volunteer some time in 2016 to helping the Philadelphia chapter by recruiting other student journalists to the chapter or by assisting in organizing an event.

To apply, send:
1) A one-page essay describing your background, what you have done in journalism so far and what you plan to do in journalism as a career. Include your name, phone number, e-mail, and mailing address.
2) Names of two references, with phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
3) A transcript of your grades for college courses taken, or high-school grades if you are a freshman.

Email your application materials or any questions to AAJA-Philly’s Mentorship Director, Meeri Kim, by March 15th, 2016: meerinkim@gmail.com

Please note: Special consideration for this scholarship will be given to a student who is the first person in his or her family to go to college. The scholarship is to be used for college fees or books.

AAJA membership is not required to apply for the scholarship.

Selection process:
The AAJA-Philadelphia chapter board, former president Murali Balaji, and one non-AAJA individual who is a leader in the Asian American community will make up the selection committee.
Applicants will be asked to attend an in-person interview with the selection committee.
The winner will be announced by May 5th, 2016, and a check for $500 will be mailed by May 31st, 2016.

The scholarship is in honor of Mrs. Vijaya L. Balaji, the late mother of former AAJA-Philadelphia president Murali Balaji. Mrs. Balaji was a committed supporter to the chapter, who believed in the education of minority journalists.

AAJA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the coverage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and helping them enter and succeed in the news industry.

Mentor of the Month: Roxanne Patel Shepelavy

Instead of a traditional paired mentor-mentee program this year, we are featuring monthly Q&A’s with mentors about how they broke into journalism, what their day is like, and any advice they have for young journalists. From there, students or anyone else (“mentees”) can email the mentors with any questions or set up informational interviews.

Our seventh Mentor of the Month is Roxanne Patel Shepelavy (@roxanneshep), Executive Editor of The Philadelphia Citizen. Ask her anything via roxanne@shepelavy.com.

Q: What is your current gig? How long have you been working there?

I am Executive Editor of The Philadelphia Citizen, a nonprofit media organization with a dual mission: To produce journalism with a solutions-oriented bent, and to engage the citizens of Philadelphia in making this city better. I’ve been a part of The Citizen for over a year. We started as a blog in November 2014, and are launching a full website in September 2015.

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Mentor of the Month: Porus Cooper

Instead of a traditional paired mentor-mentee program this year, we are featuring monthly Q&A’s with mentors about how they broke into journalism, what their day is like, and any advice they have for young journalists. From there, students or anyone else (“mentees”) can email the mentors with any questions or set up informational interviews.

Our eighth Mentor of the Month is Porus Cooper, Assistant New Jersey Editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Ask him anything via poruscooper@hotmail.com.

Q: What is your current position/outlet?

I am currently Assistant New Jersey Editor at the The Philadelphia Inquirer, a position I have held for the last 4 years or so. I am nearing 30 years at the Inquirer.

Q: Did you always want to work in journalism? How did you break into the newspaper industry?

I became a journalist rather than a lawyer because my first job happened to be at a newspaper. I was also drawn to the law, and actually attended law school for a year. I “broke into the industry” quite by accident: I was attending law school when one of my childhood friends (who knew of my passion for journalism from my schooldays) noticed that the Times of India (I grew up in Bombay, India) had advertised for trainee journalists. I applied and was selected.

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