SPORTS TASK FORCE PROGRAMS
Al Young Sports Journalism Scholarship
This scholarship awards $2,000 to an undergraduate student pursuing sports journalism as a career. Applicants will be judged on academic and journalistic achievement, financial need, a strong commitment to a sports journalism career and dedication to AAJA’s mission.
The scholarship is made possible thanks to AAJA’s Sports Task Force and a yearly donation by Al Young.
Al Young is an award-winning journalist who blazed many trails for Asian American sports journalists. Young was the nation’s first Asian American sportswriter at a metro daily newspaper and the first to cover the NFL. He also wrote the first weekly column in the country, focusing on athletes, personalities and trends in women’s sports.
Young’s four-decade long career includes positions as a writer and editor at the Boston Globe, USA Today, the New York Daily News, the New Haven (CT) Register and Bridgeport (CT) Post-Telegram.
In 2010, AAJA named Young an “Asian American Pioneer in U.S. journalism.” He is a past president of AAJA’s Washington, D.C. chapter. Retiring in 2013 from the Boston Globe, Young most recently was the advisor to the student newspaper at Quincy College in Massachusetts.
Eligibility and Rules
- Must be an undergraduate student enrolled full-time (at least 12 credit hours) at an accredited college or university (including junior and community) in the United States or one of its territories
- Must be currently taking or planning to take journalism courses and/or pursuing a career in sports journalism
- Must have a minimum 3.0 GPA
- Must be a current AAJA member
- The scholarship recipient must commit to a minimum of five hours of volunteer work for the AAJA Sports Task Force.
- Recipients must use the scholarship funds for expenses that directly support or advance their education, such as tuition, textbooks, equipment, and room and board, for an upcoming semester. Recipients must follow up with the Sports Task Force within 60 days of receiving the scholarship to identify how they spent the money
- Within a year of receiving the scholarship money, winners will be required to present to AAJA how the scholarship helped them pursue their journalism career. This can be through an essay, a video, photo, journal, etc.
- Journalistic work samples
- A brief statement of financial need
- Contact information for two references. An essay of no more than 1000 words that explains why you want to pursue sports journalism and how the financial support of this scholarship would help your long-term career goals. The essay should also answer all of the following questions:
- What role or responsibility do journalists of color have in a modern press box and how do you plan to fulfill that responsibility?
- What makes you a standout sports journalism student and how do you plan to continue growing as a journalist?
- What is one issue important to Asian Americans in sports that is poorly covered or not covered at all and would you fix this problem?
Jimmie & Suey Fong Yee Grant
This grant awards $1,500 to those who are pursuing a career in sports journalism and media. The grant funds the production of a print, digital, audio or visual story about Asians or AAPIs in sports, which applicants must pitch as part of their application. Winners will also receive free registration to AAJA’s annual convention. The AAJA Sports Task Force administers the scholarship and will work with recipients to get the stories published at an outlet.
Applicants will be selected on the basis of their unique and compelling story pitch, demonstrated journalistic ability, financial need, a strong commitment to the pursuit of a sports journalism career and dedication to AAJA’s mission.
The grants are made possible thanks to a yearly donation by Don Yee of sports talent agency Yee & Dubin Sports, LLC.
About Jimmie and Suey Fong Yee
Jimmie and Suey Fong Yee immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Sacramento, working hard to create a new life for themselves and their young family. They endured many hardships, but they envisioned and achieved a better future for themselves and their children.
They were proud of their heritage as Chinese. One of the important values they taught their children was to be sympathetic to the plight, journey, and struggle of others. Just as the Yees received help from others, it was their wish to return their good fortune by helping other Asians striving to achieve their dreams.
About Don Yee
Donald H. Yee is a partner and founder of Yee & Dubin Sports, LLC., a sports management consulting firm that represents some of the nation’s leading professional athletes, coaches and broadcasters. Yee, a graduate of UCLA and the University of Virginia School of Law, also is a frequent speaker and writer on sports-related issues. He is a former adjunct professor of law at the University of Southern California law school and a visiting professor of law at the University of Virginia School of Law.
Eligibility and Rules
- Must be a current AAJA member.
- Applicants must fall into one of the following categories:
- Category 1: Not attending college/university, but actively working towards becoming a sports journalist.
- Category 2: Must be an undergraduate student enrolled full-time (at least 12 credit hours) at an accredited college or university (including junior and community) in the United States or one of its territories. Must be currently taking or planning on taking journalism courses and/or pursuing a sports journalism career.
- Category 3: A young professional who graduated within the last five years from a community college, junior college or university in the United States or one of its territories. Must be currently and actively pursuing a career in sports journalism
Please note: graduate students and young professionals will be judged against each other, while undergraduate students and those not attending college/university will be judged against each other.
- Grant recipients must follow through with their story pitches and commit to a minimum of five hours of volunteer work for the AAJA Sports Task Force.
Story Pitch Guidelines
- Applicants must pitch a story they can realistically produce with their resources and time.
- Unique stories that shine a light on Asians and/or AAPIs in sports are highly preferred.
- Pitches can include stories that are local, regional, national or international.
- Journalistic work samples
- Contact information for two references
- A story pitch, of no more than 700 words, that includes the following:
- Describe in detail the story you would produce, including the medium (print, digital, audio or visual story) and whether it’s local, regional or national.
- Tell us how you would realistically go about pursuing the story, and how this would humanize Asian Americans in sports.
- Explain how this financial support and published story would help advance your sports journalism career.
Michael Kim Journalism Fellowship
A young sports broadcast journalist who has less than three years of professional experience will receive $2,000 to support their career pursuits in honor of Michael Kim, the godfather of AAJA’s Sports Task Force and a pioneer for Asian Americans in sports broadcast journalism. The scholarship is made possible thanks to the Sports Task Force and a yearly donation by Michael Kim.
Applicants will be selected on the basis of demonstrated journalistic ability, financial need, a strong commitment to the pursuit of a sports journalism career and dedication to AAJA’s mission of advancing Asian Americans and other underrepresented communities in media.
About Michael Kim
Michael Kim is a groundbreaking anchor who opened doors for the Asian community at the Worldwide Leader in Sports. Kim was an anchor at SportsCenter for 17 years and was one of the original anchors who launched the innovate ESPNNews.
Kim now works as the anchor of The Stadium on Marquee Sports Network. Prior to ESPN, Kim won a Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Show – Daily. Kim is a graduate of the University of Missouri.
Kim has been a proud member of AAJA for years and is a Sports Task Force legend who has supported the group from its inception.
Eligibility and Rules
- Applicants must work in the broadcast sports industry in some form, either as on-camera talent or behind-the-scenes producer
- Applicants must be within three years of college graduation and/or in their first television market
- Applicants must demonstrate financial need.
- The selected scholarship recipient must commit to a minimum of five hours of volunteer work for the AAJA Sports Task Force