Erica Alyssa Hernandez, a first-year student at the University of Florida, has been awarded SPJ South Florida Pro’s 2012 scholarship.

Hernandez – a 2011 graduate of Coral Gables High School – majors in journalism with a history minor. She was selected for the $2,500 award by members of the chapter scholarship committee from applicants from Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties planning careers in journalism.

In addition to working on her high school newspaper, Hernandez has written as an intern for The Miami Herald, the Independent Florida Alligator in Gainesville and reported on women’s sports for ESPN Radio Ocala. She was chosen for participation in the 2012 Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) Campus Coverage Project at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

In 2011, she was a Silver Knight nominee and was awarded a Miami Herald South Florida scholarship from UF’s School of Journalism and Communications. She also was honored by the National Scholastic Press Association for her design work on her high school literary magazine.

“I live for journalism,” Hernandez wrote in her application essay. “It is borderline unhealthy how deep my passion is. I speak in AP style. My sleep is constantly interrupted because I think of a story idea. My days are divided between working on my current articles, discovering ideas for new articles, reading any publication I can get my hands on and looking for journalism internships.”
The South Florida Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists was organized in 1946 as the Greater Miami Chapter of Sigma Delta Chi. SPJ is a national professional organization founded in 1909 that includes broadcast, print and online journalists, journalism educators, and students interested in journalism as a career. It is dedicated to the perpetuation of a free press as the cornerstone of our nation and our liberty.

The chapter sponsors the annual Sunshine State Awards competition, open to all print, broadcast and online journalists in Florida. The competition recognizes quality journalism in the best tradition of our profession. Proceeds help to fund an annual scholarship award to area college students who demonstrate outstanding talent, character and merit in pursuit of a career in journalism.

For scholarship inquiries, contact Bill Whiting, SPJ SoFla Scholarship Chair

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