|$10,000 Grand Prize
|$1,000 First Prize
|$500 Second Prize
|$2,000 Literary Essay
|Random Prize, Dec05
It was a scorching August afternoon when I got up my courage to tell my father that I was going to go to college. He did not say anything at first and this seemed to confirm my fear that he disapproved. For the last few days I was going through the arguments and concessions I would make. I was about to start explaining but he cut me off and said, "so, you want to go to college." He turned back to the chair that he was fixing and without looking up continued, "what are you going to do?" I started explaining how I would work between classes and continue to help around the ranch as I always have but he interrupted, "no, I meant what are you going to study." I couldn't hold back the smile that spread across my face.
My mother who had overheard the conversation from the kitchen came into the living room and gleefully said, "my baby is going to college! Jorge aren't you proud of your daughter?" You see, I am the first from my family to have finished American school not to mention attend college. I am currently studying Journalism and hope to someday work for a large newspaper.
A while later I heard my father telling some of his friends that I was going to go to college. While in simple words, he expressed his pride in heartfelt emotion. From that day I resolved to do well in college and maintain my family's pride. I will not forget my parent's hardship in coming to this country and am willing to endure the same in crossing the bounds farther. I am committed towards becoming a better writer and perhaps one day I may have the influence to make a better world.
It's March 9, 2006, about 4:00 p.m. and I'm in serious trouble.
Armed with my notebook and tape recorder, I stand on the bustling quad of the Roger Williams University campus, surrounded by students rushing to classrooms and the library and the student union. A din of teenage voices swirl around me, yet I've never felt more alone.
A 9:00 deadline is mercilessly chugging toward me, and I am tied to the tracks, defenseless and nearly defeated.
But I'm not going down without a fight.
The story I'm working on is about the revered names behind the buildings on campus. I thought it would be interesting to find out not just how the business school was named after Mario Gabelli, but who Mario Gabelli was. The story wasn't so much about how Alan Feinstein's name became attached to the College of Arts and Sciences, but why. What made him so special? What contributions did he make to society? If we could gain a better understanding of who these people were, maybe we would gain a better appreciation for the names we see so often.
The story was almost complete, but a major piece was still missing. I had successfully collected information on every major name except Ralph Papitto, who has his displayed in large, shimmering letters atop the law school at the front of campus.
The story could technically be printed without any mention of Papitto, but that wouldn't be right. The Ralph Papitto School of Law is the only law school in Rhode Island. That's big. To ignore it as if it doesn't exist would be stupid. And if his name was the only name I didn't include in the story, it would beg the same question from all who read it. Why?
It wasn't like I hadn't tried, though. Within the last week, I had knocked on nearly every door in the law school, made phone calls to the main office, and sent emails to the school's dean. None of it mattered. Nobody helped.
I knew this story wasn't going to be a hard-hitting piece. It didn't include any breaking news that needed the urgent attention of readers, and it was running in a weekly college publication, not a citywide daily. But it was still a story, an important piece of the whole, and if I didn't turn it in by deadline, the entire paper would suffer. I had a responsibility, as do all journalists, to commit to the story and see it through. I owed it to my fellow reporters. I owed it to my readers. And I owed it to myself.
From the quad, I see the administration building, my last hope. I had visited the building in desperation twice before, but to no avail. If I walk in there again, I might bother a few people at the front desk, but I don't care. My job is not to do what's convenient for them, it's to write the story. If I have to be relentless to get it done, I will be.
I take a deep breath, make sure my tape recorder is working, and head for the front door.
For me, failure is not an option.
It is sometimes difficult to remember that I didn't always have that motivated, take-charge attitude about reporting.
Michael Hurley grew up in Arlington, MA, a small town on the outskirts of Boston. Michael attended Catholic schools for 12 years - first at St. Agnes Grammar School in Arlington before graduating to Arlington Catholic High School. It was in high school that he developed his passions in life: sports, music, and writing.
While playing football for four years, Michael was also in three bands. By involving himself in such activities, he developed the ability of handling a lot of work efficiently and deftly - an invaluable skill that helps him each day.
After high school, Michael went on to Roger Williams University, where he currently strives to excel both in and out of the classroom. While achieving a 3.83 grade point average over his first two years, Michael also was involved in the school's newspaper (The Hawk's Herald), the school's radio station (WQRI), as well as intramural softball and floor hockey. After a year of writing for the newspaper, Michael was named Sports Editor for the 2006-2007 school year. Meanwhile, he was spending much time developing his radio show, Mike and the Moose, which provided music, entertainment, and comedy. Again, Michael sought to be involved as much as possible in order to get the most out of his life.
Michael has always been taught that it is not always the grade that matters; instead, it is putting in his maximum effort. This lesson has influenced the way he thinks and the way he acts, as he feels confident about any task or obstacle he must face.
As for Michael's future, he plans on living according to what he has learned over the years: to always keep in mind a strong sense of family, compassion, and trust, to take things as they come, to keep everything in perspective, and to always try his very hardest. As he grows, his philosophy develops with him. Ideally, the older he becomes, the smarter he'll become - and that is something he looks forward to.
$2000 Journalism Studies Scholarship - Trisha Fleurimond
Hi my name is Trisha Fleurimond, I am 19-years old, and I am going to be a sophomore at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I am studying broadcast journalism because I would like to become a news reporter some day. I truly enjoy writing, and I think that I am good at it. Once I have a well-planned format, and begin with a good introduction, everything else comes fairly easy. In my first year of college I joined Temple's Association of Black Journalists (TABJ). This organization has introduced me to so many things in the journalism field. I have had the opportunity to meet all kinds of professionals such as news reporters, writers, and anchors. I have also had the privilege of visiting countless radio stations and television stations in the Philadelphia area. This organization has stressed the key to getting through the doors of journalism and members are devoted to helping each other out. Upon my return to school I will be the internship chair for the organization. I chose to run for this position because getting an internship is very essential and it is in fact the key to receiving your very first job. I want to help my fellow members with information that will help them throughout the future just as former members have helped me.
In addition to my involvement with TABJ I also began to write for Temple News, which is the student newspaper at my school. Although I am a broadcast major, and television writing is different from print writing, I still felt that practicing what I enjoyed could doing nothing, but benefit me. No matter what kind of writing is was, people around me couldn't stress enough on how important to know how to write, even if you were interested in television. Another thing that motivated me to write for the paper was the fact that people were impressed at the fact that I was broadcast major, and writing for the paper. I was told that not a lot of people in my major took the advantage of writing for the paper, mostly because they did not know how beneficial it would be.
Although my main interest is in television I am also drawn in by the other aspects of journalism such as radio and print. When I had the opportunity to volunteer at WRTI 90.1, which is the radio station part owned by Temple University and National Public Radio; I knew that it would be a great experience to look at the other sides of journalism. I also wanted to be a volunteer reporter at the station. I began to volunteer at the front desk, and I began to shadow my mentor who did the morning news on the weekends. She began to teach me about radio, she began to show me how to write news, and how to operate to board. I plan on returning back to the station once school begins and continue with what I have started.
I chose Temple University because of the countless, and great opportunities they offer journalism students. Also, being in the city has made it beneficial because of all the internships that are available for students. At my years at Temple I hope to become a volunteer reporter at WRTI as well as become a part of Temple Update, which is the television station at Temple. I plan to grow as a member in TABJ and take from this great opportunity as I possibly can.
$2000 Literary Essay Contest - Ashley Warren
Ashley was born in relative obscurity in the pre-Britney Spears/Millionaire Acres era of Scottsdale, Arizona on March 14, 1985 and was raised on fairy-tales, sunburns and ice cream. She soon grew to love books more than people and as she aged, realized that there is no Prince Charming, UV rays give you skin cancer, and ice cream is one of the fattiest desserts known to mankind. Despite this crushing of her earliest dreams, Ashley remains cheerful in the face of adversity.
Ashley's childhood passed in years of ignorant bliss, Disney movies, and the three odd and watery years of 1994-1997 spent in the coastal city of St. Petersburg, Florida in which she could observe dolphins and manatees from her backyard. She was soon banished back to the desert, however, where she managed to complete her education while remaining happily free of the mental scarring this experience might have incurred. Desert Mountain High School was a fine facility, but Ashley was faced with the torture known as the International Baccalaureate Program, in which she had mysteriously volunteered to undertake, much to her future horror. Those who created the program must have done so with good intentions, she tells herself, and she does acknowledge that the results of her education were much more than adequate, but she also contends that its creators must have been some kind of sadistic cult, deriving pleasure from mining every last inch of brain power and will to live from relatively unsuspecting high school students.
Ashley now attends the University of Arizona in Tucson where she is majoring in Creative Writing with a double minor in English and Sociology and where she works as a tutor for the University's Writing Center. Ashley has played the piano for fourteen years, the clarinet for ten, and is currently learning the euphonium. She is obsessed with the Pride of Arizona marching band, in which she has marched and played at many a football loss for her beloved Wildcats for going on four years. Aside from reading, she believes that there is no greater pleasure than marching around on a football field in front of 60,000 people wearing ugly pants, ugly shoes, and sequins while simultaneously playing obnoxiously loud music. She believes that her director, Jay C. Rees, is one of the coolest people on the planet.
Ashley has many characteristics that simultaneously attract and repel her from others. She loves to analyze people and displays frequent ability to empathize with the events in others' lives. She also puts this ability to use in analyzing literature. It was one of the crowning moments of her life when she was able to understand and tear apart the meaning of William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury. However, she despises literary snobs, adamantly maintaining that Buffy the Vampire Slayer belongs right alongside 100 Years of Solitude in the category of great works of art.
Ashley is not sure where her future is headed, although she would greatly enjoy getting into graduate school to work on her MFA, being an editor for a famous publishing company, a high school English teacher (because those are the best kind), or possibly a lawyer. She believes in going with the flow.
In conclusion, Ashley loves peppermint frappucinos, used book stores, and the occasional hyperbole. She despises cheaters, mold, and people who tailgate on the highway.
Random Prize - Chase Will
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