News Media Guild Scholarship Winners Announced

By Michele Salcedo

One is finishing a master’s degree in business administration to continue working in youth development. Another has a passion for plant biology as a means to unlock the healing properties of herbs. A third sees a future in engineering, as her father did before her.

All three will have financial help to pursue their educational interests from family members who are members of the News Media Guild through the Guild’s scholarship lottery.

Meet this year’s winners:

Jonathan Cooper, a California statehouse reporter, will receive $2,000 on behalf of his wife, Jenna Cooper. She is pursuing a masters of business administration at North Park University with a goal of leading a nonprofit group that offers youth development programs. Jenna Cooper currently oversees camping and adventuring program for the Girl Scouts in the Sacramento and Central Valley area. She expects to receive her MBA from North Park University in Chicago in December 2019.

“We’re super excited to get the scholarship,” Jonathan Cooper said in a phone interview. “We’ve been paying out of pocket for her master’s degree, and for the Guild to come thru and help us out with that is a huge help to our family.”

Cleveland-based photographer Anthony Dejak says he’s applied at least 10 times for a Guild scholarship over the years, as each of his three children went through college. He won $2,000 this year for his youngest child, Danielle, who has one semester left in the plant biology program at Ohio University. Dejak says Danielle is interested in using herbs to create therapeutic treatments.

Pennsylvania statehouse reporter Mark Scolforo didn’t tell his niece Shannon that he was applying on her behalf for the $1,000 wild-card scholarship. She’s in her last year of the University of Florida’s engineering program, a career her father pursued before her. “She’s pretty tickled about the whole thing.” Scolforo said. “She had no idea I put her in, so it was out of the blue.”

The News Media Guild awards the three scholarships every year by lottery to members in good standing. The two $2,000 awards are available for Guild members and their spouses, children, grandchildren, parents or other members of their immediate households. The wild card scholarship is available to Guild members’ relatives, friends or co-workers who are not members of their household.

The awards are made each year in memory of Patrick J. Sherlock, a late president of the Wire Service Guild, the forerunner of the News Media Guild. Sherlock had been an Associated Press writer and editor in Concord, N.H.; Portland and Augusta, Maine; and the General Desk in New York.