National Association of Black Journalists-Chicago Chapter

2015-2017 Scholarship Winners

NABJ Chicago congratulates the winners of our 2015-2017 scholarships. As always, NABJ Chicago received a terrific pool of applicants from universities throughout Chicago and the Midwest. NABJ Chicago would like to thank all of the journalism school advisors and professors who helped forward these impressive candidates.

Jasmine Ellis of Audubon, Penn., M.S.J., Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, August 2016 ($1,000)

“Thank you so much for selecting me to receive a scholarship towards my graduate school program. While in the program, I had the opportunity to report from the White House and Capitol Hill and work for USA Today at the DNC.

“I was a 2016 White House Correspondents’ Association Scholarship winner. As an aspiring White House correspondent, receiving the WHCA scholarship and having a chance to meet President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama was a dream come true.

“Since January 2017, I have been serving as a freelance writer/production assistant for Here’s some of my work: Yoga Boss Jessamyn Stanley: “You can’t look for your love in the feedback of strangers.

“Although I studied broadcast journalism (specifically television), I recently decided to pursue a career in radio and this summer, I am going to Atlanta — where I lived during my time in undergrad at Spelman College — to seek job opportunities available in radio. I look forward to networking, as I work towards relocating.”

 Joshua Short of Justice, Ill., B.A., Columbia College, May 2017 ($750)

“I would like to humbly thank NABJ-Chicago Chapter for granting me with the $750 scholarship. This could not have come at a better time and from a better organization. I am just one day removed from receiving my Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College Chicago after four years of studying broadcast journalism. “Financially, it wasn’t the easiest navigating my way through those years, but I insisted on keeping my focus fixed towards receiving my diploma despite these difficulties. Now that I am a recipient of this scholarship, my future is even more promising than before. I am better prepared and less stressed about the economical burdens that I would otherwise have endured.

“I will be moving on to South Bend, Ind., where I will be beginning my career at WNDU, the NBC-affiliate. I will be reporting and anchoring to the ever-growing Michiana community. Along with this job and being a new graduate, I can also say that I am joining an elite and renowned group through reception of this scholarship.”

Matthew Wright of Saint Charles, Mo., B.A., Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, August 2016 ($750)

“First off, I would really like to thank the National Association of Black Journalist — Chicago Chapter for the space they provide for both aspiring and current Black journalists. I’d like to additionally thank the chapter for selecting me as the second place recipient for the 2016-2017 Scholarship. It is really refreshing to be supported by folks in the community I’ve grown to love and respect.

“I very recently graduated with a double major in Political Science and Journalism. Afterwards, I immediately moved to New York to begin working as a reporter for the Daily Mail. I actually just got back to America in late December after completing a placement for work in both Glasgow, Scotland and London. Back in the New York office, I started on the News Features desk, and am on the general news desk now.

“I’d really love to be an entertainment/pop culture journalist. I really love the complex pieces that some publications can do, detailing a person’s life. I love New York and I’ve always dreamed of living here. I’ve had the privilege of going to international award shows for work already and I loved the energy and feeling of being around all these people that you normally would only see on television. It is such an honor to be very close to covering the things I love.”

Kierra Gray of Belleville, Mich., M.S.J., Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, May 2016 ($500)

“Thank you for your generous scholarship of $500. I am grateful to be bestowed the honor of representing the NABJ Chicago Chapter.

“I graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism with a concentration in broadcast and print journalism. Last year, I had the opportunity to cover politics in Washington, D.C. and travel to Johannesburg, South Africa with Medill Explores to report on the political climate among the youth post-apartheid.

“As a student, I contributed to the Detroit-based media platform Black Bottom Archives.

“I am passionate about aiding in the progression of communities of color by providing positive representation in the media. I want to help change the way the media reports on underrepresented communities. I am currently job searching and look forward to working in digital media covering the stories that need to be told.”

Janaya Greene of Chicago, B.A., Ohio State University, May 2018 ($250)

“It is with immense joy that I thank you for awarding me a scholarship towards my Public Affairs Journalism degree. In addition to my Journalism major, I am double minoring in Media Production & Analysis, and African-American & African Studies. “As a native Chicagoan, I am honored to receive this scholarship award from an organization that does so much to uplift and embrace the hard work of Black journalists in Chicago. This award will help me pay my university’s out-of-state student surcharge, purchase textbooks, and tackle the final hardships of my undergraduate career.

“Due to enrolling in multiple college courses at Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy High School, I am eligible to graduate from college early, in December 2017. If I do not earn a full-time Journalism job by November, then I will graduate in May 2018. After working for one to two years, I plan to attend graduate school at Northwestern or Columbia universities to sharpen my journalistic skills.

“Last summer, I was one of two students selected out of 300 applicants as a Vice Media and Center for Communication Fellowship Winner. This fellowship awarded me the opportunity to work for Vice Media’s home website as an Editorial Fellow in New York City. This summer, I will work as an Audio and Video Production Intern at Chicago’s first and longest-running podcast, Dynasty Podcasts.”

Shanice Harris of Harrisburg, Penn., B.A., Columbia College, May 2016 ($250)

“Thank you, National Association of Black Journalists, for the great opportunity and honor to receive the 2016-2017 Scholarship award. As a journalist and writer working in the Chicago-area, it is an honor to be recognized by the Chicago chapter of the NABJ. I graduated with my degree in Journalism—concentration in magazine writing. I minored in Photography, as well.

“I currently am an Associate Editor for Tighe Publishing, a children’s educational book publisher in Irving Park. I also freelance for Interactive Content Services, based in Chicago. I write legal, educational, government and business stories for various publications around the country.

“I’ve always wanted to write for big media powerhouses, such as Complex and GQ. I would love to start my own magazine at some point in my career, as well. Entrepreneurship and business has always been very important to me. I plan on bringing that idea to fruition in some way in the next steps in my career. Once again, I thank NABJ-Chicago for recognizing my talent and hard work and continuing to acknowledge the power that black journalists have in the media space. Your presence is appreciated and necessary.”

2014 Scholarship Winners:

NABJ Chicago congratulates the winners of our 2014 scholarships.  We had to choose from very impressive applicants from universities throughout the Midwest region. Our deep appreciation to journalism school officials and professors at Columbia College, DePaul University, Lewis University, Northwestern University, and Roosevelt University who generously donated their time to narrow the candidates to the final three:

TaylorTaylor Shaw, Northwestern University, GPA 3.3 ($1,000)

Taylor Shaw, 19, of the South Side Englewood neighborhood, is the winner of our $1,000 undergraduate scholarship. The broadcast student with a 3.3 GPA at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism expects to graduate Spring 2016. Taylor, who attended Chicago’s St. Ignatius College Prep, says her mother, a telecommunications technician, raised her and her siblings to work hard in the pursuit of their dreams and go the extra mile to make them a reality. As early as elementary school, an inquisitive nature led her to want to become a journalist.

While at Medill, where she has learned how to work on-camera and behind the scenes as a producer, she has worked as a video production assistant for the Chicago Tribune, and operated her own blog,, that asks the question, “What does it mean to be human?” In Spring 2015, she’s headed to Johannesburg, South Africa to complete a journalism residency at a current affairs show, “Against All Odds”. She plans to attend graduate school for screenwriting, as it is Taylor’s dream to use storytelling “to help people understand that we are all human and therefore, we are all connected.”


Taryn Galbreath, Master’s graduate student, Northwestern University, GPA 3.6 ($500)

Taryn Galbreath completed her Master’s at Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism in Fall 2014 , with a 3.6 GPA. Often described as a deep thinker driven to get to the heart of controversial issues, this multi-media journalist is committed to public service journalism, with a passion for stories and media that challenge people to think.  A native of Evanston, she attended Evanston Township High School, and says her mother, a divorced secretary, gave her the foundation of “exposure,” as she showered her children with diverse experiences, classes, people and environments wherever she could.

Taryn completed her B.A. and an M.A. in Advertising at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, studying  in London and Paris. After working in account management at the Chicago Sun-Times and WGN-TV, Taryn was inspired to pursue journalism. At Medill, Taryn covered health and science, politics and social justice n Chicago and Washington D.C., providing news wire service to such venues as USA Today, Military Times, FOX affiliate, and KVRR in Fargo, N.D. In May 2014, President Obama and First lady Michelle Obama presented Taryn with the Deborah Orin Scholarship at the 100th annual White House Correspondent’s Association Dinner. She says she is thankful to God, her family, mentors, Northwestern, and NABJ as she enters the next leg of her journey.

kiratianaKiratiana Freelon, Master’s degree, City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, GPA 3.7 ($500)

Kiratiana Freelon completed her Master’s at City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism in December 2014,  with a 3.7 GPA. Whether living in N.Y., covering the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro or jetting off to Nairobi, she says, she will always be that girl from Chicago’s South Side. Born in Fayettville, N.C., Kiratiana grew up in the Hyde Park/Kenwood neighborhoods; her late father a longtime Chicago lawyer, her mother practicing law for 30 years before becoming a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She attended Lincoln Park High, then Harvard University, where she studied Economics, wrote for the Harvard Crimson, and helped to publish a Black Guide to Life at Harvard.

After winning a Harvard fellowship to travel abroad, she triggered her lust for international reporting. She’s previously worked for the Hyde Park Herald; taught English in Paris; and spent three years promoting Chicago’s bid for the Olympic Games. She’s also travel-blogged; managed a travel website for American Airlines; and worked in digital public relations, before pursuing a degree in journalism. Spring 2015, she’ll move to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to work as an international reporter for two years, and invites others to follow her or contact her for Brazilian stories @Kiratiana or


2013 Scholarship Winners:
NABJ Chicago congratulates the winners of our 2013 Scholarships.  As always, NABJ Chicago received a terrific pool of applicants from universities throughout Chicago, its suburbs and the Midwest region.  NABJ Chicago would like to thank the journalism school advisors and professors at Columbia College, DePaul University, Lewis University, Northwestern University, and Roosevelt University–all who helped vet the candidates.

scholar_McClellanMatthew McClellan, Master’s graduate student, Northwestern University, GPA 3.6. ($1,000)

Matthew McClellan, 27, of Marion, S.C., is the eldest of four siblings who grew up in his great grandparents’ household along with his grandmother and mother. Matthew attended the former Dillon District One public school system in Lake View, S.C. He first knew he wanted to be a journalist when as a freshman, he was selected as a co-anchor for Lake View High School’s Gator TV Morning News. He co-anchored the live, daily news program his entire high school career and was head producer as a junior and senior. He won a spot as an anchor/reporter for the 2004 Channel One News Student Produced Week contest in Los Angeles. A Gates Millennium Scholar, he earned his bachelor’s degree in media studies communication from the College of Charleston (S.C.), where he participated in various student media organizations, interned with local talk radio station WTMA 1250 News, and graduated summa cum laude. A member of Alpha Phi Alpha, he was recognized as an Outstanding Senior and Communications Dept. Scholar of the Year in 2008. He went on to earn a law degree from Wake Forest University (N.C) in 2012. He was awarded a Master’s in Journalism from Northwestern’s Medill School in June 2013 and plans to work as a legal analyst and on-air commentator for news outlets.

scholar_tatiana_morrisTatiana Walk-Morris, Junior, Columbia College Chicago, GPA 3.52 ($1,000)

Tatiana Walk-Morris was born and raised in Detroit. The only child of a single mother, she attended Detroit Public Schools through middle school. Her mother, “as well as Detroit, played asignificant role in shaping the person I am today,” says Tatiana. She graduated from Belleville High School with highest honors, proficiency on the Michigan Merit Exam and fluency in German. “My curiosity about politics and culture led to my interest in journalism,” she says. She will be awarded a bachelors degree from Columbia College Chicago in 2014. Tatiana is Assistant Campus Editor of The Columbia Chronicle, where her beat is campus news, which means that she is constantly holding the administration’s feet to the fire. She is also a contributor to, and a member of the National Honors Society. “I want to write for a few of my favorite publications — Time Magazine, Vibe Magazine and Seventeen Magazine. I plan to start a digital and print edition of my own magazine, which will focus on education, health care, economy, politics and culture,” says Tatiana. “By practicing quality journalism, I hope to reach out to a wide audience and give people the information they need to make sound life decisions.”

scholar_ryan_moyeRyan Moye, Master’s graduate student, DePaul University, GPA 3.42 ($500)

Ryan Moye, 25, of Silver Spring, MD and the only child of a single mother, attended Georgetown Day School in Washington D.C. through high school. He then attended Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Penn., where he played a major role in devising policies governing diversity and social justice and was instrumental in bringing a Chief Diversity Officer to campus. At Susquehanna, Ryan was class senator and a resident assistant; spent a semester studying abroad in Tokyo, was a staff writer for the college newspaper, and co-founded the campus television station, where he worked as technical director and on-air talent. After college, Ryan spent a year as a foreign correspondent for the Fresh Outlook, a nonprofit online newspaper based in England.  He earned a Master of Arts Degree in Journalism from DePaul University in 2013. While at DePaul, he worked as a digital journalist for the Chicago Defender newspaper, which awarded him the Abbott-Sengstacke Scholarship, and for He won the Society of Professional Journalism Mark of Excellence Award for Online News Coverage 2012 for a story he co-produced in a collection of works for the 2012 presidential election. He was also a reporter and anchor for Good Day DePaul. “I knew I wanted to be a journalist because I love television and am intrigued by how people are influenced by the medium,” says Ryan. “My goal is to break the current mold of journalism and promote accuracy and youth involvement through the use of multi-media and broadcast journalism–and one day create my own media company.”

scholar_kim_mooreKimberly Moore, Master’s graduate student, Roosevelt University, GPA 3.3  ($500)

Being named a 2013 NABJ-Chicago Scholarship winner “is a dream come true,” says Kimberly Moore. At the age of 12, Kimberly was intrigued by magazines and had a dream of owning her own company and publishing numerous magazines. At 29, she is an example that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams. Born and raised in Chicago’s West Side Austin neighborhood, Kimberly attended Providence-St. Mel high school. There, she wrote for the school newspaper, was a member of the yearbook committee and a recipient of the Golden Key Scholastic Art Award for photography. Kimberly attended Tennessee State University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration. After working in corporate America, an entrepreneurship course led her to enroll at Roosevelt University and pursue her first love of journalism. She earned a Master’s of Science in Journalism December 2013. Kimberly is a staff writer for Fine Success magazine and in previous years has worked with True Star magazine. “As writers we have the opportunity to use our voices to impact others,” she says, “and that’s exactly what I plan to do.”