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National Press Club awards Anissa Carby with the 2022 Wes Vernon Broadcast Scholarship

·3 min read

WASHINGTON, July 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Press Club, the world's leading professional organization for journalists, has chosen Anissa Carby of Miami Gardens, Florida, as the recipient of its Wes Vernon Broadcast Scholarship. The award, which promotes diversity within the field, is given to an aspiring broadcast journalist and totals as much as $20,000 over four years.

NATIONAL PRESS CLUB LOGO. (PRNewsFoto/NATIONAL PRESS CLUB) (PRNewsfoto/National Press Club)
NATIONAL PRESS CLUB LOGO. (PRNewsFoto/NATIONAL PRESS CLUB) (PRNewsfoto/National Press Club)

An aspiring broadcast journalist, Carby impressed judges with her drive and resourcefulness to immerse herself in journalism despite having limited access and opportunities: She created her own reel and coverage even though her school didn't have a formal journalism department, and she sought out the mentorship of a cousin who works in the industry to shadow them.

"My first experience trying to report a story in front of a camera showed that I was shy and had work to do. I was determined to grow within myself, so I practiced in the mirror often, talked to others clearly, and told myself everything I said was important," Carby wrote in her application essay. "When I got back in front of the camera, you could see through the lens the growth and that I was filled with confidence."

Judges said Carby's passion for broadcast journalism is clear. Carby aims to own her own news network one day, something she decided while she participated in a broadcast journalism camp at a predominantly white institution.

"Seeing racism and being in situations where I was treated differently because of the color of my skin caused me to want to have my own news network filled with positive news and having great diversity," Carby said. "I believe that this generation and the generations to come should see more cultures on the screen through a positive lens."

Practicing journalism skills wherever she is comes naturally to Carby, an accomplished student leader at Miami Norland Senior High School and volunteer at her church. She has organized college and career weeks, interviewed authors during literacy week, and created a podcast for WUNC Youth Radio covering breaking into radio. As yearbook president, she took photos, reported, and designed pages.

"Anissa earned her position as the yearbook president after being a persistent student leader that attacked every task to ensure the yearbook was complete throughout the pandemic," wrote her yearbook teacher, Britney Thompson, in a recommendation letter. "She actively recruited future students, facilitated an interest meeting to explain the requirements, and provided information about being a student staff member."

Judges are excited about Carby's selection.

"Anissa represents the future of journalism - dedication, ambition, and service to diverse audiences," said Jen Judson, National Press Club president. "Her resourcefulness in creating a portfolio of work despite limited professional resources is a skill that will continue to serve her well. We are so pleased to support Anissa as she charts her path."

The Wes Vernon Broadcast Scholarship, started this year by Mr. Vernon's family, provides $5,000 annually to a student who demonstrates a commitment to a career in broadcast journalism. The award can be renewed up to three years for a total of $20,000 toward educational expenses. Named in memory of the late Wes Vernon, a prolific radio journalist whose career included national political reporting from Washington, D.C., the scholarship intends to remove barriers for students from backgrounds underrepresented in broadcast journalism.

This year's runner-up is Helen Acevedo Feliciano of Miami, Florida.

Scholarship winners are awarded one-year complimentary membership to the National Press Club.

CONTACT: Julie Moos, National Press Club Journalism Institute; jmoos@press.org

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SOURCE National Press Club