By Josh Tolentino
The Asian American Journalists Association Sports Task Force is pleased to announce that Pablo Iglesias and Souichi Terada are this year’s recipients of the the 2018 Jimmie & Suey Fong Yee Scholarship, funded by prominent sports agent Don Yee.
The $1,000 scholarships will help cover expenses related to travel and accommodations for the 2018 AAJA convention in Houston.
“AAJA Sports Task Force is so thankful for Don Yee’s support of diversity in sports journalism. His contribution will help Pablo and Souichi take further steps in accomplishing their dreams.”
Representing many clients, including Tom Brady and Jimmy Garappolo, Yee has developed into one of the NFL’s most-respected agents. He said he was very impressed with Iglesias and Terada.
“Both (Iglesias and Terada) have demonstrated drive and perseverance – they have an inner passion, and that is a big key to any success,” Yee said. “All of us will experience ups and downs in our journey, and perseverance is an important trait to have.”
Iglesias, a graduate of Bradley University, said his family’s story was similar to Yee’s.
“I related to Don’s story in a similar way – there are challenges as minorities that we go through,” Iglesias said. We can’t be afraid of those challenges. I’ve tried to hold myself to those standards. That doesn’t mean you should fall down to them. You need to continue to challenge yourself.”
After graduating from Bradley in Spring 2017, Iglesias returned to his alma mater, Mount Carmel High School, to work in the athletic department as a multimedia marketing specialist. He also freelances for Eagle Broadcasting Corporation, a television based in the Philippines. He recently covered the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four in San Antonio.
Iglesias attended his first AAJA convention last year in Philadelphia. He said his involvement with AAJA has helped him immensely.
“Growing up, I was probably one of if not the only minority in any group, outside of my family,” he said. “Going to AAJA was a different type of experience. It was such a great experience. It gave me the empowering feeling as an Asian American that we could make it.
“The love and support – we all root for each other and share our stories. AAJA and the STF was a welcoming community.”
Terada, a rising senior at Michigan State University, said AAJA has helped pave a path for him in journalism.
Terada works on campus as a sports reporter for Michigan State’s student newspaper, The State News. He is interning this summer at the Tennessean, as part of the Sports Journalism Institute.
“I’m really excited to meet the AAJA family,” Terada said. “It’s cool knowing there is a group of like-minded professionals of the same color and background. AAJA’s mission really hits home.
“At Michigan State, I use diversity as a big platform to spread awareness.”
The 2018 AAJA convention marks the third consecutive year Yee is providing financial aid to the AAJA Sports Task Force. Former Jimmie and Suey Fong Yee Scholarship recipients include Josh Tolentino, Charlie Lapastora and Daniel Tran.
“My parents raised their children to understand that the best purpose in life is to lend a helping hand to others,” Yee said. “I’m just privileged to be in a position to help. I actually feel lucky to get to know the next generation of talent and leaders.”
Yee stressed an important message to Iglesias, Terada and other aspiring Asian American journalists.
“Asian stories are just as important as any others,” Yee said. “A lot of us have grown up on Western media where we essentially are invisible, and this type of media diet can cause us to minimize our own existence. I hope Pablo and Souichi will keep this in mind as they pursue their careers.”