By Jacquelyn Knoll
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – James Nyameke Arvo, a communications major at Camden County College who resides in Philadelphia, won a $1,000 scholarship for 2017 from the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia. He was the only winner from a two-year institution this year and the first winner from Camden County College.
The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia, a non-profit organization of area broadcasters, announced on April 1 they had chosen 20 students to receive a scholarship for 2017. The organization, which was founded in 1962, awards yearly scholarships, conducts educational and charitable activities, collects and records data of the broadcasting and communications industry in the Delaware Valley and advocates for more cultural, educational and family oriented quality programming.
Arvo said he had debated since last year about whether to apply for a Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia scholarship. Being an international student, he was unsure as to what scholarships he was entitled to.
“Last year, when I was taking Influence of Mass Media with Professor (Drew) Jacobs, he made the same announcement around the same time as he did this year. I wanted to apply, but somehow I felt well, I don’t have a Social Security number yet. What if after entering the competition, the lack of a simple Social Security number became an issue for disqualification,” Arvo said.
After a year of regret from deciding not to apply, Arvo decided to take the step and hope for the best. In late January, Arvo applied for the scholarship. On Feb. 18, Arvo opened his email to see he was a qualifying contestant. The email revealed the scholarship committee had chosen 40 students to move on to the next round, where only 20 students would win.
While the initial application only required minimal information, the qualifying round was more involved. The Broadcast Pioneers requested an official transcript, a letter of recommendation from an instructor at the school the students were attending and an essay explaining what the students wanted to achieve in the next 20 years as well as what they expect in their career.
Pat Delsi, chairman of the board of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia, said a panel of judges focused on students’ grades, overall activity and internships when narrowing the field of contestants. He added sophomores and juniors who are entering their junior and senior years are eligible for the scholarship. While it sometimes became difficult, they were permitted to give scholarships to only 20 of the approximately 125 to 150 students who applied.
The scholarships will be awarded at a luncheon on April 19 in Philadelphia.