The National Press Club, the world’s leading professional organization for journalists, has selected Alexa D’Amato of Boxford, Massachusetts, as the recipient of its 2023 Richard G. Zimmerman Journalism Scholarship. The award is given to an exceptional high school senior who plans to pursue a career in journalism, and includes a $5,000 one-time scholarship.
D’Amato impressed NPC judges with her drive, passion for journalism, and keen editorial eye. She joined her high school’s broadcasting crew as a sophomore and was elevated later to director. She also served as editor-in-chief of the school newspaper.
In 2022, D’Amato was accepted to PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs’ Summer Academy for an intensive video journalism camp at Arizona State University’s Cronkite School of Journalism. Her work there earned D’Amato recognition on the Student Reporting Labs’ 20 under 20 young storytellers list.
“I hope that my acceptance into the NewsHour internship inspires my current classmates to produce the highest quality work possible, and that my work establishing its curriculum [in my school] shows future students that journalism isn’t a career that is out of reach,” D’Amato wrote in her application essay.
Recommendation letters from her teachers and supervisors praised her work ethic, integrity, and leadership skills.
“Alexa’s maturity, high motivation, and passion was evident from day one. In my time working with Alexa, she always shows interest in others, listens with an open mind, and truly enjoys exchanging ideas with others,” said Emily Hope Dobkin, StoryMaker Community Manager for PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs. “Alexa carries a holistic, collaborative, and comprehensive approach to creating projects that make a difference for all who are involved.”
“The writers and broadcasters that Alexa leads respect and look up to her as a leader,” said Michelle Siden, an English teacher in the Masconomet Regional School District. “Her positive, encouraging attitude motivates people to get things done. In addition, her personable nature and sense of humor allows writers to feel comfortable coming to her with questions.”
The Richard G. Zimmerman Scholarship is named for a long-time National Press Club member who died in 2008 and endowed a scholarship in aid of high school seniors who wish to pursue a career in journalism.
“Alexa is an exceptional student who has already demonstrated excellence in journalism,” said Eileen O’Reilly, National Press Club president. “We are thrilled to support her as she starts the next chapter of a promising career in journalism.”
In addition to funding, scholarship winners are awarded one-year complimentary membership to the National Press Club. National Press Club scholarships are administered by its nonprofit affiliate, the National Press Club Journalism Institute.
For press inquiries or questions about the National Press Club scholarship programs, contact Beth Francesco with the National Press Club Journalism Institute at [email protected]