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Announcing ProPublica’s 12 Diversity Scholarship Recipients

These 12 talented journalists will get $500 each to attend NAHJ, NABJ, AAJA or NAJA.

We’re excited to announce the 12 recipients of the 2017 ProPublica Diversity Scholarship. Each of these talented journalists will receive a $500 scholarship to attend one of the annual conferences put on by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Asian American Journalists Association or the Native American Journalists Association. This year’s recipients were chosen from among more than 180 applicants.

We’ve written about what ProPublica is doing to increase the diversity of our newsroom and of the broader journalism community. This scholarship will help make it easier for journalists from underrepresented communities to take advantage of everything these conferences offer.

Here are this year’s recipients:

Maha Ahmed

Maha Ahmed is a soon-to-be graduate of the University of Chicago, where she studied sociology and public policy. She was a managing editor of the community newspaper South Side Weekly, and worked at the Invisible Institute, In These Times magazine and other nonprofit media organizations in Chicago. Her reporting interests include policing, criminal justice, public education, and how they intersect with race, gender, and economic disparity. After graduation, she will work as an editorial fellow at Mother Jones.

Alex Darus

Alex Darus is a third-year journalism student at Ohio University. She is currently the blogs editor for The Post, a student-run newspaper on campus. She is also the social media director for the Scripps Hispanic Network and freelances TV recaps for Us Weekly. This summer she’ll be interning at

Janaya Greene

Janaya Greene is a rising senior studying Public Affairs Journalism at The Ohio State University. Janaya was a Vice Media and Center for Communication fellow in 2016 and has worked as a Writing Intern for the Black Girl Nerds website. A native of Chicago’s South Side, her career goal is to report on communities in the African diaspora worldwide. Janaya is currently a Video and Audio Production intern at Dynasty Podcasts.

Sarah Beth Guevara

Sarah Beth Guevara is a sophomore at The University of Oklahoma, where she studies Broadcast Journalism and Vocal Music. She is involved with OU Nightly, a student-produced daily newscast. Sarah is a National Hispanic Merit Scholar. Her goal is to bring more awareness to the foster care system and to demonstrate how journalism can be a positive tool for change.

Jazzlyn Johnson

Jazzlyn “Jazzie” Johnson is a freshman journalism and resource conservation student at the University of Montana. She has written for her high school’s newspaper and for an online editorial publication. She enjoys reading and writing about environmental and racial issues. Johnson’s aspirations include becoming an investigative reporter covering racial inequality and people of color’s relationship to the outdoors and the environment.

Akira Kyles

Akira Kyles is a junior multimedia journalism major at Morgan State University. She is Managing Editor of the MSU Spokesman, Morgan State’s school newspaper. Originally from Oxon Hill, Maryland, she’s interned at the Baltimore City Paper, and freelanced for the Afro-American. She hopes to become an investigative reporter focusing on urban communities. For the past year she’s been focused on reporting on African-American health.

Jorge Martínez

Jorge Martínez is a rising senior at Brown University, studying Science and Society with a focus on Indigenous Knowledge. He has spent the past year working with tribal members of the California Indian community. His heritage is Jñatrjo (Mazahua) and Ñuu Sau (Mixtec). This summer he will be working with the Los Angeles Public Library to set up an exhibit celebrating the Zapotec community. Martínez strives to highlight Indigenous voices within the mainstream media.

Berenice Osorio

Berenice “Bere” Osorio is a senior studying Radio/Television/Video and Sociology at University of the Ozarks. She is a native of Mexico City. She came to the U.S. through the Walton International Scholarship program to pursue her dream of telling stories that impact people’s lives. During the 2017-18 school year, Bere will serve as a peer mentor and a teaching assistant for a Media Production class, and will serve as the news director of Ozarks Weekly.

Aneri Pattani

Aneri Pattani recently graduated with a degree in journalism from Northeastern University in Boston. This summer, she will be a James Reston Reporting Fellow at The New York Times, working with the health and science teams. She will also be traveling to Liberia with New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. She has worked at CNBC, The Texas Tribune, The Boston Globe and The Hartford Courant.

Michelle Salinas

Michelle Salinas recently received her MA in Latin American Studies from UCLA. While an undergraduate, she served as managing editor of La Gente Newsmagazine. This past March she formed part of the NPR’s Next Generation Radio program at USC and produced a story on a young immigrant’s first days in the U.S. Salinas works on journalistic multimedia projects that connect history, art and culture. She plans on starting her own podcast on news from Latin America through an art and culture lens.

Maggie McCarty Sanders

Maggie McCarty Sanders is a direct descendent of the last whale hunter of the Makah nation. She received her Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Tribal Administration. For the past five years, her work has been with the Nisqually Indian Tribe’s Natural Resources Department, where she works with tribal colleges and universities on climate change, its impact on treaty trust resources and engaging tribal communities to become resilient in the face of climate change.

Ellis Simani

Ellis Simani is an aspiring journalist and developer from Seattle’s Rainier Valley. A recent graduate of Claremont McKenna College, Ellis spent his time outside the classroom reporting for the South Seattle Emerald and also served as a Digital Scholarship Fellow for the Claremont University Consortium’s Digital Humanities initiative. This summer he’ll be joining The Seattle Times as the paper’s Digital and Interactives intern. Ellis is excited to build community with other journalists of color, especially among black journalists who code, or are interested in incorporating data and design in their reporting.

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