The Editorial Freelancers Association is pleased to announce that Gabrielle Heyward of Rock Hill, South Carolina, and Makiydah Berry of Hartford, Connecticut, are the recipients of the second annual EFA Ruth Mullen Memorial Scholarship in the undergraduate category, and Jordan Turner of Lawrenceville, Georgia, is the recipient in the graduate category.
The three EFA scholarships—two for undergraduates attending an HBCU (historically Black colleges and universities) and one for an HBCU alum pursuing a graduate degree—are available to students who are Black, African American, or of Black African descent and enrolled in a degree program leading to (1) employment in the publishing or communications industry, or (2) a career that could lead to their becoming a member of the EFA. Each $5,000 award will be paid directly to the scholarship recipient’s HBCU or graduate school in two annual installments of $2,500 for disbursement on behalf of the recipient.
Ms. Heyward is a communications major at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) in Greensboro, NC, the largest HBCU in the nation. Her focus is journalism and media studies.
“For me, journalism is my lifestyle,” she said. “My love for journalism has taken me on an adventure in life. Journalism is more than just staring into a camera and telling what you know, it’s about helping others through storytelling. It’s the one thing I’ve unknowingly known since I was five years old. It is and will be my future career. By receiving this scholarship, I can continue doing what I love.”
Ms. Berry is currently pursuing a degree in strategic communications with a concentration in advertising at Howard University in Washington, DC. Known for its excellence in truth and service, this is one of the most prestigious HBCUs in the country.
“I aspire to work on the business side of the entertainment industry. To achieve these goals, I plan to look for internship opportunities in the field and hopefully find a mentor with some experience in the entertainment business,” she said. “I believe that with the support of this scholarship, I am one step closer to realizing my dreams.”
Mr. Turner is a graduate of Savannah State University in Savannah, GA, the oldest HBCU in the state. He is currently a first-year graduate student at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL, where he is pursuing his MFA with a concentration in screenwriting.
“Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts is one of the top schools in the nation. I am so grateful that your scholarship will help me pursue my dream of attending this highly sought-after program that will give me the skills to write films that can be told with subtitles for deaf and hard of hearing communities as well as descriptive video for blind audiences,” he said.
Andrea Reid, a member of the EFA Board of Governors and an HBCU graduate herself, said, “It warms my heart to be a part of an organization that is affecting the lives of so many HBCU students. As chairperson of the EFA Committee on HBCU Scholarships and a Howard University graduate, I am delighted to see how we are changing the lives of these inspiring students. This is a great way to pay it forward.”
The EFA Ruth Mullen Memorial Scholarship, awarded in partnership with the UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is named in memory of Ruth Mullen, longtime EFA member and volunteer. At the time of her tragic death in September 2021, Ms. Mullen was serving as an EFA co-executive.
“The EFA is proud to award these scholarships in Ruth Mullen’s honor,” said EFA co-executive Katy Grenfell. “We are especially proud to award them to these brilliant and ambitious students: Gabrielle Heyward, Makiydah Berry, and Jordan Turner. They are the future of our industry and we cannot wait to see what they accomplish.”
Our scholarship program provided two scholarships during the initial 2022–2023 cycle, both funded by the EFA. For the current cycle, the EFA funded two scholarships, and through the generous donations of individuals inside and outside of the EFA, we raised enough money to fund a third scholarship. For next year’s cycle, the Committee on HBCU Scholarships has set a goal of providing five scholarships, three funded by the EFA and two by voluntary donations. Toward that end, a Donate page has been established on the UNCF website. Please consider donating and feel free to post the Donate link on your social media and share it with your friends and associates.
Sheryl Holmberg, Public Relations Chairperson
EFA Board of Governors