We 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.
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.