NABJ Chicago 2021 Scholarship Awardees
$2,500 Inaugural Eugene Stanback Memorial Scholarship
KVon Jackson, Columbia College Chicago
KVon Jackson is a junior at Columbia College Chicago, studying photojournalism. He is a staff photographer for the student newspaper, “The Columbia Chronicle,” and also works as a freelance photographer throughout Chicagoland.
KVon said he began his Photography career in earnest last year, after the cellphone videotaped killing of George Floyd, a Black man, under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer, went viral.
“It gave the idea to start documenting my own community’s reaction to the footage. It was this drive that led me to submit my application and photos to the Columbia Chronicle. I think what ultimately inspired me to take on a minor in Journalism was my sports story about Columbia’s quidditch team, and seeing how they adapted to the strain of the pandemic.
“One my goals for the future is to hopefully work for Block Club Chicago or the Associated Press. Those goals have recently come to light since I’ve become more in touch with members of both my community and in my journalist community, which has enhanced my visual storytelling skills.”
Nia Martin, University of Missouri-Columbia
Nia Martin is a junior at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is currently a general assignment and higher education reporter for the student newspaper, “Columbian Missouri.”
Martin said she wants to pursue a career in journalism to give a voice to the voiceless.
“One of the reasons I am pursuing journalism and I chose to have an emphasis in “Arts & Culture” is so that I can shine a light, highlight and expose mis- and underrepresented people,” she said. “I specifically want to focus on Black women.”
Kyle Williams, Knox College
Kyle Williams is a junior at Knox College. He is a sports editor for the student newspaper, “The Knox Student.” He said he has wanted to be a journalist ever since he was 14, which was when he read “The Big Book of Basketball,” by Bill Simmons.
“I find sports fun and interesting,” Williams said. “I have a curiosity when it comes to watching sporting events.”
Melissa Perry, Northwestern University
Melissa Perry is a junior at Northwestern University. She is currently a local and campus reporter for WNUR-News, and a senior editor for “Blackboard Magazine,” a campus publication focused on Black issues. Perry said she wants to foster greater levels of understanding and empathy in her career.
“This past year has rocked so many Americans to the core, including myself,” she said. “But the consistent stream of quality news content produced by journalists has proved invaluable.”
Kori Barnes, University of Nevada-Las Vegas
Kori Barnes is a junior at University of Nevada-Las Vegas. She is currently an anchor and reporter for the student-run sports broadcast and social media platform, “Rebel Report,” and chief content officer and on-camera host for the campus’ Intersect TV. Barnes said she dreams of becoming a top anchor at a major broadcasting company or entertainment platform.
“If my stories or platform can help someone avoid dangerous situations or generate new perspectives on a controversial subject, then I would feel I made a difference,” she said.