groups of young college students

Build a More Inclusive Profession
Support the Endowment of PRSA's Multicultural Scholarship

Here's the story

PRSA is committed to enabling positive change in the public relations and communications profession in many ways. We invite you to join us in doubling down on our commitment to create opportunities for students planning to enter the profession. Help us strengthen our ability to provide scholarships to educate and empower rising diverse talent in the public relations and communication fields.

Since 1989, PRSA has recognized young men and women for outstanding academic achievement and commitment to the practice of public relations.

In 2020 the PRSA Board of Directors, in partnership with the National PRSA Diversity & Inclusion Committee, will establish the first permanent endowment to ensure funding for the annual PRSA Diversity Multicultural Scholarship. The PRSA Minnesota Chapter donated the seed funding and we are grateful for their commitment. Our goal is to provide $50,000 in funding to create the endowment…and every gift counts!

We need your donation today. Help us write a new chapter in the story of our profession.

Join PRSA in making a bold commitment to creating meaningful change in our profession by empowering the next generation of multicultural communications professionals and leaders.

We are storytellers. It is what we do.

Let our story be that we kept a promise we make today. Help us write the story of change.


Contributions also can be made via personal check. Contributions can be mailed to: 

PRSA Foundation
PRSA Multicultural Endowed Scholarship
120 Wall Street, 21st Floor
New York, NY 10005

Checks should be made payable to the PRSA Foundation, with PRSA National Multicultural Endowed Scholarship Fund in the memo.

For questions or more information contact:
Jeneen Garcia: (212) 460-1466  jeneen.garcia@prsa.org
Susan Belanich: 212-460-1442 susan.belanich@prsa.org

 

The annual essay competition awards $1,500 scholarships to two minority students. 
Applications are accepted each year in May. 

A special story about commitment

Our Minnesota Chapter leapt into action in early Summer 2020, kicking off our endowment fundraising appeal with contributions totaling $10,000 in a matter of days!

At its July 15, 2020 meeting, the Board of Directors of the Minnesota chapter of PRSA approved a donation of $2,500 to the Multicultural Endowment Scholarship fund.

Minnesota PRSA announced that it had collaborated with PRSA’s national diversity and inclusion leadership to establish the endowment fund in response to the tragic death of George Floyd, the anti-racism protests, and the ongoing issues of systemic racism throughout society.

“As the inaugural donor, our Board wanted to make it clear that we are truly dedicated to diversity and inclusion,” said Dan Hauser, APR, president, Minnesota PRSA. "We are also strongly encouraging our members and other chapters to donate to the scholarship fund.”

Previous PRSA Scholarship Recipients

Krystal Rhaburn headshot
Krystal Rhaburn
PRSA Scholarship Recipient, 2019
Raelyn Mart headshot
Raelyn Mart
PRSA Scholarship Recipient, 2017
Shanita B. Akintonde headshot
Tiffany Chao
PRSA Scholarship Recipient, 2016
Andrea Gils Monzon headshot
Andrea Gils Monzon
PRSA Scholarship Recipient, 2014
Shanita B. Akintonde headshot
Shanita B. Akintonde
PRSA Scholarship Recipient, 1993
Krystal Rhaburn, PRSA Scholarship Recipient, 2019

Assistant Account Executive, Hill+Knowlton Strategies
2019 Honors Communication Graduate from California Lutheran University (Southern California)

Why did you apply for this scholarship?
I was able to focus on my studies rather than taking on another position of employment during the semester that I was granted the scholarship. Doing so allowed me to truly thrive in my classes and gave me the space to thoroughly enjoy my PR, marketing and communication courses.

How did the scholarship help you fulfill your educational requirements?
The scholarship helped cover my last semester of college. It allowed me to have all my classes on one day, as I interned the remainder of the week in an educational temp program at Universal Music Group’s Republic Records

What would you say to the donors who have contributed to the fund?
It is because of you that people like me are able to remain optimistic about accomplishing our dreams. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being a donor to something so meaningful and for providing the funds that make such an incredible impact on students’ lives.
Raelyn Mart, PRSA Scholarship Recipient, 2017

JOAN Creative
B.A. in Journalism University of Oregon 2017 with a

Why did you apply for this scholarship?
I essentially put myself through college paying for tuition, housing and all living expenses. I worked my way through college all while staying on top of my academics and extracurriculars (including PRSSA) - at one point I was working three jobs - so I applied for scholarships that I was applicable for and aligned with my interests.

How did the scholarship help you fulfill your educational requirements?
PRSSA was the very first club I started to get involved in at University of Oregon, and I can honestly say it's the reason why I became not only a better PR student but a better professional. The weekly chapter meetings helped us learn from PR professionals with years of experience, and also connected us to professionals that were invested in our growth.

What would you say to the donors who have contributed to the fund?
These scholarships truly matter to diverse individuals like me - no matter the dollar amount. When someone is not financially able to get through college, that is an immediate barrier going into college. We have to think about how to pay for living expenses (yes that includes food), books, any technology for classes, extracurriculars, supplementary trips that look good on your resume, etc. And those stresses are not even considered for a lot of white students who have their college paid for. So, thank you for contributing to a fund that promotes diversity within the industry and investing in students of color - the impact is more than you'll ever know.

Tiffany Chao, PRSA Scholarship Recipient, 2016

Communications Coordinator at ViacomCBS/Nickelodeon
SUNY, Fashion Institute of Technology, 2017
B.S. in Advertising and Marketing Communications, Minor in Sociology

Why did you apply for this scholarship?
As an advocate for diversity with a passion for PR and storytelling, I applied for this scholarship to discuss how a diverse workforce in the public relations industry encourages creativity and productivity within a company, especially as a student with a variety of internship experiences with many diversity programs.

How did the scholarship help you fulfill your educational requirements?
The scholarship helped cover my last semester of college. It allowed me to have all my classes on one day, as I interned the remainder of the week in an educational temp program at Universal Music Group’s Republic Records

What would you say to the donors who have contributed to the fund?
I was a recipient of this scholarship in 2016, and unfortunately, there is still plenty of work to be done. I am grateful to the donors who have contributed to this fund as we continue to educate others and promote a diverse workplace. When I received this scholarship as a student advancing and growing into a working professional, I felt empowered to network in the workplace, hear other people’s stories and put in the work needed for change. I look forward to the continued work we, as a society, can and will do to promote diversity and inclusion within our industry.
Andrea Gils Monzon, PRSA Scholarship Recipient, 2014

Marketing and Communications Manager, University of Kentucky International Center
B.A. in Journalism and a BS. In Communications - PR

Why did you apply for this scholarship?
I deeply cared about the issues related to diversity and inclusion. I felt I represented many dimensions of diversity, that I had demonstrated my commitment to PRSSA and my intent to serve as an exemplary student and leader in my field.

How did the scholarship help you fulfill your educational requirements?
It allowed me to finish paying my tuition my last semester, alleviating my family and myself from the financial stress and allowing me to focus on doing well in class.

What would you say to the donors who have contributed to the fund?
Thank you. Your support to funds like this one do make a difference. It made a difference in my life - shaping my academic experience, my career focus on D&I issues, and reinforced my commitment and desire to lead in PRSA and in our field. It also gave me the desire to show others that they can do it too because representation matters. We need to remove barriers for all diverse rising starts in PRSSA. Funds like the Multicultural one allows young and promising students to truly shine.

Shanita B. Akintonde, PRSA Scholarship Recipient, 1993

Professor, Author, Podcast Host, Professional Speaker, and Marketing Consultant.
Immediate past National Chair of the PRSA Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Columbia College Chicago, 1993
BA, Marketing Communication Minor: Writing 

Illinois Institute of Technology, 1997
MBA

Loyola University Chicago, 2012 
M.Ed.

Why did you apply for this scholarship?
I was a first-generation college student who owes my degree completion to four things: 

  1. Good Grades 
  2. Jobs/Internships 
  3. Prayer (lots of)
  4. Scholarships like the one offered by forward-thinking  organizations like PRSA

How did the scholarship help you fulfill your educational requirements?
I was awarded the FIRST Multicultural Scholarship from the Chicago PRSA Chapter during my senior year of college. It allowed me to graduate debt-free!

What would you say to the donors who have contributed to the fund?
Don’t doubt, just do it. Your donation will impact the future of the PR profession in ways you cannot fathom. My scholarship led to my first PR gig. That role led to a chance work encounter with a young man with whom I will celebrate 24 years of marriage this year. That same company paid for my MBA. That grad degree opened the door to a successful two decade and counting teaching career. And it all started due to the generosity of one donor. Today that history-making hero can be you. 

About the PRSA National Diversity & Inclusion Committee

The National Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the Public Relations Society of America provides guidance, leadership, and programming that undergirds PRSA’s D&I initiatives.

Members of the D&I Committee are expected to contribute actively to the array of activities designed to advance the diversity and inclusion conversation within and outside PRSA. Each member is expected to fully commit to the vision and work of the D&I Committee, in carrying out the national D&I strategic plan goals objectives. All committee members and officers serve one-year terms. The Chair and Vice Chair positions are appointed by the incoming Chair of the National PRSA Board of Directors. Members of the Committee may serve for additional one-year terms, upon re-appointment. Appointments are made by the Chair of the Executive Committee in consultation with myriad parties (i.e. Staff, PRSA Chair, D&I Executive Committee).

To get involved, please email the Chair/Co-Chairs of the National PRSA D&I Committee at diversity@prsa.org.

Visit: www.prsa.org/about/diversity-inclusion