Audrey Martin of Mansfield, Massachusetts, is the winner of the first Rhode Island PBS Foundation Scholarship for high school seniors considering a career in broadcasting, communications, or journalism. The $15,000 scholarship is renewable for up to four years.
“Audrey embodies all of the traits we hoped to find in a candidate,” said David W. Piccerelli, president of Rhode Island PBS. “Her application demonstrated a clear dedication to the field of journalism.”
Ms. Martin, an intern at The Sun Chronicle in Attleboro, MA, was selected from 56 qualified applicants. High school seniors from the station’s broadcast area in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts who plan to attend a four-year post-secondary school to study journalism, broadcasting, or communications were eligible to apply.
"Receiving this scholarship means everything to me and my family. Getting the chance to work in journalism at The Sun Chronicle has changed my life,” said Ms. Martin, daughter of David and Christie Martin. “For the Rhode Island PBS Foundation to recognize and support something that means so much to me is incredible.”
“My parents were joking recently that PBS seems to have never stopped giving them a hand: From entertaining their three daughters with shows like ‘Arthur’ for years to now helping one of those girls attend the college of her dreams, there are not many organizations my parents owe as much to as PBS,” she said.
A graduate of Mansfield High School in June, Ms. Martin plans to major in journalism at Boston University.
“Beyond her stellar academic record, Audrey’s essay revealed a remarkable tenacity, overcoming setbacks and obstacles to pursue her goals. Moreover, she told her story with skill and an engaging wit that set her apart from other applicants,” said Mr. Piccerelli.
This is the first scholarship to be awarded through a $1 million scholarship fund created by Rhode Island PBS at the Rhode Island Foundation. The selection was made by a review committee coordinated by the Rhode Island Foundation.
“We’re grateful to work with donors like Rhode Island PBS that understand the importance of investing in young people. The impact of their generosity will be felt for decades as these students enter the workforce and contribute to civic life of their communities,” said Neil D. Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO.
Rhode Island PBS created the scholarship fund with proceeds from the station’s participation in the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) “incentive auction,” designed to realign the use of broadcast airwaves. The Rhode Island PBS Foundation Board set aside funds from this one-time revenue for the station to invest in programming and services to the community, including this scholarship fund.
“In addition to encouraging students to choose journalism and communications as a profession, this scholarship is a way for us to give back to the community we serve,” said Mr. Piccerelli.
Students had to submit an essay, their current high school transcript, a financial aid worksheet, proof of residency, and a letter of recommendation from a teacher or professional attesting to the applicant’s merit towards a successful career in broadcasting, communications, or journalism.
For more information about the Rhode Island PBS scholarship, visit rifoundation.org.