Categorized | Education

BIPC hands out $3,200 in scholarships

Karin Stanton/ Contributing Editor

The Big Island Press Club doled out more than $3,000 in scholarships to two journalism students Friday evening at its annual dinner.

Recipients Mitchell Byars and Will Sims, both of Kona, collected $1,600 each for their educations.

Byars is entering his third year at University of Colorado Boulder, where he is pursuing a journalism major and philosophy minor.

His college adviser described Byars as “one of our top scholars” in the Journalism Diverse Scholars program and an “excellent student, works hard and is very conscientious.”

West Hawaii Today editor Reed Flickinger, who hired Byars as a sports writer, said, “Bottom line, I’d invest in him if I had the opportunity.”

Byars was awarded the $1,500 Robert C. Miller Memorial Scholarship, plus an extra $100 from the scholarship committee.

Sims, a Hawaii Preparatory Academy graduate, is off to University of Chicago. His goal is to become a political reporter or media consultant to a politician or political organization.

West Hawaii Today advertising director Tracey Fosso, who hired Sims as an intern for the last five years, said, “He will represent our community well in his future endeavors and shows initiative and ambition to achieve excellence in journalism.”

A former teacher at HPA said, “He is extremely inquisitive, very intelligent, an excellent communicator. He enjoys looking at all sides of an issue, pulling from a wealth of knowledge and experience when forming an opinion.”

Sims scooped up the $500 Steve Christensen Scholarship and the $600 Yukino Fukabori Memorial Scholarship.

The Big Island Press Club is the oldest continuously active media organization in Hawaii. Established in 1967, the club has raised thousands of dollars for journalism scholarships, has been a watchdog for the public’s right to know, and has presented the Torch of Light and Lava Tube awards annually since 1997 to highlight the best and worst examples of government openness in Hawaii.

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