SILICON VALLEY – March 15, 2022 PRSA Silicon Valley, part of the nation’s largest organization serving public relations and communications professionals, has formally launched its second annual Diversity and Multicultural Scholarship to encourage more Bay Area students from diverse backgrounds to pursue a career in public relations. Students interested can submit their application through April 30, 2022.
In establishing the Diversity and Multicultural Scholarship Program, PRSA Silicon Valley aimed to create an inclusive future for the communications profession by developing resources to underwrite a sustainable scholarship program and empowering talented and diverse students seeking a career in PR by providing financial support and mentorship opportunities.
Following the success of its first-year recipients of the scholarship, the PRSA-Silicon Valley Diversity and Multicultural Scholarship Program was named a finalist in the PRNews 2022 Social Impact Awards for its effort to bring opportunity for students of more diverse backgrounds to look for a future in public relations and communications. The Social Impact Awards honor communicators who use their platforms to bring positive change to their community and to the global community at large.
PRSA Silicon Valley took a three-pronged approach to execute this campaign:
● Broaden the demographic profile of its PR community by identifying partners who could help develop and manage resources to assure confidence in the program by potential donors.
● Approach Silicon Valley PR agencies and corporations to support the new scholarship program.
● Use the professional and personal networks of chapter members to identify potential scholarship applicants.
As part of this approach, the PRSA Foundation, a tax-deductible nonprofit that manages funds and distribution for compatible organizations, became a key financial partner and steward of the PRSA Silicon Valley scholarship donations.
As a result of the heightened concerns around diversity, equity, and inclusion, PRSA Silicon Valley found a receptive PR community and exceeded the initial stretch fundraising goal of $20,000, raising $75,000 by May 2021. Because of the extraordinary success of the fundraising, the Chapter awarded ten scholarships for the inaugural year and committed to make three additional annual awards in 2022.
“For me, this scholarship is essentially going to help me pursue my academic dreams . . . helping me achieve my own dreams and family dreams as well,” said Denisia Webb, a communications major at San Jose State University.
“Being a single father and working full-time, this award means so much and helps out so much. It motivates me to improve, and to succeed, and also be that role model for my son,” said Roberto Escobedo-Ortiz, student at San Jose State University.
PRSA Silicon Valley is currently matching the inaugural scholarship winners with PR mentors from the chapter so that the support given to students will include professional guidance and access to career opportunities such as internships. The overall goal is to invest in the long-term impact of this program, in the hopes that more students from all walks of life feel empowered to pursue a career in communications and public relations.
About PRSA Silicon Valley
PRSA Silicon Valley is a community-driven organization focused on empowering communications professionals looking to cultivate their best careers. A regional chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, PRSA Silicon Valley is part of a national network of more than 20,000 communication professionals focused on connecting and supporting individuals at all stages of their careers.