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News & Press: NABJ News

NABJ announces 2018 NABJ Les Payne Reporting Trip to China student scholarships

Tuesday, November 13, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Administration
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From left to right: Christiana Ford, Shannon Simmons, Shayla Simmons, Belynda Wesley, and Kyla Wright

NABJ announces 2018 NABJ Les Payne Reporting Trip to China student scholarships


Washington, D.C. (Nov. 13, 2018) -- The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is pleased to announce the student recipients of the 2018 NABJ Les Payne Reporting Trip to China scholarship.


The trip honors Les Payne, NABJ founder and fourth president, for his revolutionary work to encourage foreign reporting experiences. The NABJ-China student scholarship recipients are Christiana Ford (Kent State), Shannon Simmons (Winthrop University), Shayla Simmons (Tennessee State University), Belynda Wesley (Florida A&M University) and Kyla Wright (Hampton University). NABJ received a strong pool of candidates, and each submission was evaluated based on the quality of the submission, strength of the recommendations, uniqueness of the presentation and a compelling argument about why they should be selected.


"The NABJ is proud of the students selected to participate in the NABJ Les Payne Reporting Trip to China. We look forward to the stories that Christiana, Shannon, Shayla, Belynda and Kyla will produce in China, and to their continued success," said NABJ President Sarah Glover.

The five students, who will receive an all-expense paid trip, will join the NABJ delegation to China from Nov. 24 - Dec. 2 to expand NABJ's work abroad, encourage and fuel foreign reporting, heighten NABJ's visibility as a major media player, and exchange ideas, best practices and journalistic trends.


Christiana Ford is a broadcast journalism major and political science minor from Detroit, Michigan. She's been a member of NABJ since 2016. She is an Emma Bowen Fellow and graduates in May 2019. Christiana reports for Kent State's TV2, has interned at Fox News, MSNBC, WKYC in Cleveland and WDIV in Detroit. She is passionate about storytelling and calls herself "a nerd at heart." Her goal is to become a local news reporter and eventually a political correspondent.


Shannon Simmons is a student at Winthrop University seeking her bachelor's degree in mass communications. She has recently discovered her passion for digital content creation. She is a member of Winthrop University's Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Black Journalist, and Winthrop Ambassadors.  She also loves exploring her artistic side as a photographer and videographer.


Shayla Simmons is a senior mass communications major at Tennessee State University in Nashville, and originally hailing from Maryland. As editor of the student newspaper, The Meter, she has found her passion for writing editorials. She uses her platform to address how race and gender intersect in politics, to pop culture and everything in-between.

Belynda Wesley is a senior at Florida A&M University studying broadcast journalism. After transferring to FAMU after achieving her associate's degree, she became involved in student media with FAMU TV20 and publishing articles in the school newspaper, The Famuan. These media outlets have given her the skills to be a successful intern at WSVN Channel 7 News in Miami, a participant in the NABJ Student Projects, SPJ Student Projects and her current internship with WCTV Eyewitness News in Tallahassee.


Kyla Wright is a senior journalism major, sociology minor at Hampton University and is originally from Detroit, Michigan. She has her own blog and YouTube channel where she discusses topics from entertainment, current events and college life. She recently completed the ESPN Rhoden Fellowship. Kyla will be graduating magma cum laude in May and hopes to attend graduate school at Columbia or Texas Southern University.




About the National Association of Black Journalists:

An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide.

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