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


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.

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