Arkansas PRSA Apprenticeship Scholarship
We are all experiencing the effects of the COVID-19 health crisis and the challenges navigating work, education and life during a pandemic. The pandemic has posed challenges for our Arkansas PRSA Chapter too. Although we haven’t been able to host in person third Friday luncheons these past several months, we are proud to have been able to offer virtual programming monthly and to continue offering added value opportunities for our industry, such as the additional programs, the virtual ARcom awards ceremony at no cost, continuing our APR Ready to Roll program, the Crystal Award and an APR virtual happy hour.
While COVID-19 has thrown us a challenge, it has also created an opportunity. By leveraging savings from virtual meetings and previous savings based on the chapter’s fiscal responsibility, we have worked with the Arkansas Community Foundation to endow the Arkansas PRSA Apprenticeship Scholarship. The fund will be established in the amount of $25,000 with hopes that our board, our members and future boards will help build it up to $50,000 or more within the next five years.
The establishment of the Arkansas PRSA Apprenticeship Scholarship will provide an opportunity for our chapter to step out and support the public relations profession, engage PRSSA students and chapters across the state and enhance public relations education and mentoring opportunities for all public relations students. It will also provide our chapter the opportunity to launch the Arkansas PRSSA Apprenticeship Program, which was developed under Lamor Williams’ leadership as PRSSA Liaison.
We envision growth opportunities in which the chapter hosts fundraising events, encourages donations through honorariums and memorials gifts and other recognition gifts.
After hearing from the committee and discussion at the September board meeting, your board voted unanimously to establish the Arkansas PRSA Apprenticeship Scholarship with these objectives in mind:
- Our chapter would engage PRSA members and their businesses to commit to hiring college PRSSA students as summer or semester interns and agree to provide the learning objectives outlined in the apprenticeship curriculum.
- Through our PRSSA Liaison, our chapter would communicate information about the program to PRSSA educators and students during the spring semester and provide a listing of the available apprenticeships.
- At the end of the program each year, apprenticeship participants who complete the program would have the opportunity to apply for an Arkansas PRSA Apprenticeship Scholarship.
- The apprenticeship participants would write an essay about their experience and learning objectives.
- At least one (1) scholarship would be awarded to an apprenticeship participant that demonstrated outstanding work experience, was an active member in good standing of a local PRSSA chapter, was a rising junior or senior and other criteria as set up by an advisory board jointly appointed by the current and incoming Arkansas PRSA presidents.
- The amount of the scholarship would be at least $500 and up to $1000, depending on proceeds from the fund in a given year.
- If there were no apprenticeship participants in a given year, the committee reserves the right to give the scholarship(s) to other qualified PRSSA student(s).
We’re grateful to all of the committee members and the board for working diligently to provide extra value to our chapter and to our profession. And we hope you’ll join us in our excitement for the establishment of the Arkansas PRSA Apprenticeship Scholarship.
2020 Arkansas PRSA President
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