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 Scholarship History



The Sacramento Press Club scholarship program began in 1974 with a single $1,000 scholarship in honor of Earl "Squire" Behrens who had recently retired as political editor for the San Francisco Chronicle. He had been a political reporter for more than 50 years and was recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1970. In 1982, the club added a second scholarship in honor of Kenneth Leake, former editor and publisher of the Woodland Democrat, who died in 1981.

The program grew over the years, singling out college students who showed both journalistic talent and financial need to finish their college degrees. Since 2013, we have awarded seven scholarships each year totaling $34,000. As of 2017, we have given away more than $400,000 to more than 150 people -- a significant amount of assistance that has helped many young students on their way to successful journalism careers.

2020 Scholarship Awards

Thank you to your generosity, the Sacramento Press Club this year awarded scholarships totaling $35,200 to seven inspiring student journalists. They will be embarking on careers at a time when honest reporting matters more than ever and as journalists committed to serving their communities are being attacked for doing their jobs.

The $8,000 Hector Amezcua Scholarship goes to Sara Nevis, a single mom and Sacramento City College transfer to Sacramento State. After her career as an air traffic controller in the military was sidelined by cancer, she found a new passion for journalism. Mostly a photographer who also writes, Sara has been freelancing for the Stockton Record.

The $6,200 Dale Kasler Scholarship goes to Rose Vega, a Sacramento City College transfer to Sacramento State who has been supporting herself since age 17. She wrote a compelling magazine piece about how she was molested in daycare as a young child, using legal documents and interviews to augment her memory.

The $5,000 Beth Ruyak Scholarship goes to Elena Neale-Sacks, a graduate of UC Santa Cruz who will be attending journalism school at UC Berkeley. After Elena produced a deeply-reported investigation into two students' allegations of sexual harassment against a professor, he quit before he was fired.

The $4,000 Lonnie Wong Scholarship goes to Kelly Kiernan, a Sacramento State student focusing on broadcast and video. Kelly started the first regular broadcast show on campus and she is the multimedia editor at The Hornet, the student newspaper on campus. Advisers say she is a favorite of teachers and a leader among students.

The $4,000 Nereida Skelton Scholarship goes to Vivian Aguilar, a San Joaquin Delta College transfer to California State University, Monterey Bay, who recently finished an internship at the Lodi Sentinel. She did hard-nosed investigative reporting on a botched tech system rollout at her college that messed with students' financial aid and classes, forcing administrators to become more transparent about how they were fixing it.

The $4,000 Dan Walters Scholarship goes to Dylan Svoboda, who works at the Mountain Democrat in Placerville, freelanced for the Sacramento News & Review and is on his way to the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. His clips reflect a deep understanding of local government.

The $4,000 Jerry Gillam Scholarship goes to Meghan Bobrowsky, who has interned at the Philadelphia Inquirer and The Sacramento Bee. She is headed to the Miami Herald this summer and is the the rare journalist who loves math and budget stories.

Thank to to our scholarship committee co-chairs Joyce Terhaar and Sophia Bollag.

2019 SPC Journalism Scholarships:
$8,000 Earl Squire Behrens scholarship to Meghan Bobrowsky, Scripps College
$6,000 Jean Stephens scholarship to Kellen Browning, Pomona College
$4,000 Lisa Ling scholarship to Barbara Harvey, UC Berkeley School of Journalism. 
$4,000 Virginia Ellis scholarship to Nick Pecoraro, California State University, Sacramento
$4,000 Nereida Skelton scholarship to Adria Watson, California State University, Sacramento
$4,000 Jerry Gillam scholarship to Hannah Holzer, University of California, Davis
$4,000 Dan Walters scholarship to

2018 SPC Journalism Scholarships:
$8,000 Earl Squire Behrens scholarship to Barbara Harvey, University of California, Berkeley
$6,000 Jean Stephens scholarship to Alexandra Matthews, University of California, Berkeley
$4,000 Dan Walters scholarship to Stephanie Rodriguez, California State University, Sacramento
$4,000 Jerry Gillam scholarship to Jordan Hunter, University of Southern California
$4,000 Nereida Skelton scholarship to Francina Sanchez, California State University, Sacramento
$4,000 Soraya Saharddi Nelson scholarship to Cassandra Dickman, California State University, Sacramento
$4,000 Julie Soderlund scholarship to Hannah Holzer, University of California, Davis

2017 SPC Journalism Scholarships:
$8,000 Earl Squire Behrens scholarship was awarded to Sawsan Morrar, University of California, Berkeley.
$6,000 Jean Stephens scholarship was awarded to Daniel Wilson, California State University, Sacramento.
$4,000 Jerry Gillam scholarship was awarded to Thomas Oide, University of Missouri.
$4,000 Nereida Skelton scholarship was awarded to Bianca Quilantan, California State University, Chico.
$4,000 Steve Swatt scholarship was awarded to Emily Zentner, Arizona State University.
$4,000 Julie Soderlund scholarship was awarded to Alexandra Matthews, University of California, Berkeley.
$4,000 Dan Walters scholarship was awarded to Emmanuel Aguayo, California State University, Sacramento.
 
2016 SPC Journalism Scholarships:
$8,000 Earl Squire Behrens scholarship was awarded to Gabriel Sandoval, California State University, Chico.
$6,000 Jean Stephens scholarship was awarded to Celina Oseguera, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
$4,000 Jerry Gillam scholarship was awarded to Jessica Hice, California State University, Sacramento.
$4,000 Nereida Skelton scholarship was awarded to Taylor Buck, Sacramento City College.
$4,000 Bob Schmidt scholarship was awarded to Brittany Murphy, University of California, Berkeley.
$4,000 Doug Willis scholarship was awarded to Jonathan Ayestas, California State University, Sacramento.
$4,000 Dan Walters scholarship was awarded to Leah Horner, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
 
2015 SPC Journalism Scholarships:
$8,000 Earl Squire Behrens scholarship was awarded to Benjy Egel, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
$6,000 Jean Stephens scholarship was awarded to Brenna Lyles, University of California, Davis.
$4,000 Jerry Gillam scholarship was awarded to Leah Horner, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
$4,000 Nereida Skelton scholarship was awarded to Jessica Hice, California State University, Sacramento.
$4,000 Joan Lunden scholarship was awarded to Kate Houston, University of Oregon.
$4,000 Bob Fairbanks scholarship was awarded to Chloe Lessard, University of California, Berkeley.
$4,000 Dan Walters scholarship was awarded to Valentin Almanza-Mendez, California State University, Sacramento.
 
2014 SPC Journalism Scholarships:
$8,000 Earl Squire Behrens scholarship was awarded to Quinn Western, California State University, Chico
$6,000 Jean Stephens scholarship was awarded to Lynne Shallcross, University of California, Berkeley.
$4,000 Jerry Gillam scholarship was awarded to Andrew Erickson, University of California, Los Angeles.
$4,000 Nereida Skelton scholarship was awarded to Jennifer Parsons, California State University, Sacramento.
$4,000 KW Lee scholarship was awarded to Paayal Zaveri, University of California, Davis.
$4,000 Kathleen Beasley scholarship was awarded to Kaitlin Bane, California State University, Sacramento.
$4,000 Dan Walters scholarship was awarded to Gregory Allen, California State University, Sacramento.
 
2013 SPC Journalism Scholarships:
$8,000 Earl “Squire” Behrens scholarship was awarded to Julie Brown, UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.
$6,000 Jean Stephens scholarship was awarded to Brittany Patterson, UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.
$4,000 Sigred Bathen scholarship was awarded to Matthew Blackburn, California State University, Sacramento.
$4,000 A. G. Block scholarship was awarded to Brian Nguyen, University of California, Davis.
$4,000 Lou Canon scholarship was awarded to Jennifer Chausee, UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.
$4,000 Jerry Gillam scholarship was awarded to Madeleine Thomas, UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.
$4,000 Nereida Skelton scholarship was awarded to Valerie Smith, California State University, East Bay.
 
2012 SPC Journalism Scholarships:
$8,000 – Earl “Squire” Behrens Scholarship – Adam Grossberg, UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism
$6,000 – Jean Stephens Scholarship – Derek Lartaud, UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and School of Public Health
$4,000 – Frank McCulloch Scholarship – Titania Kumeh, UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism
$4,000 – Stan Gilliam Scholarship – Casey Capachi, UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism
$4,000 – Jerry Gillam Scholarship – Rachel Waldholz, UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism
$4,000 – Rex Babin Scholarship – Anna Marie Sanchez, California State University, Sacramento
 
2011 Timothy Sandoval; Kevin Fixler; Christina Lopez; Gustavo Gutierrez; Elizabeth Hoffman
2010 ($17,500): Kyle Sporleder $6,000; Robin Epley $4,000; John Brennan $2,500; Kari Waterman $2,500; Lauren Callahan $2,500
2009 ($17,500): Todd Wilson $6,000; Steffi Broski $4,000; Maryanne Beck Luna $2,500; James Graben $2,500; Jen Siino $2,500.
2008 ($11,000): Luke Gianni $6,000; Talia Kennedy $3,000; Barri Worth $2,000.
2007 ($11,000): Nik Bonovich $6,000; Ian Kessler $3,000; Rosemell Opee $2,000.
2006 ($11,000): Amy Goldwitz $6,000; Meghann Farnsworth $3,000; Jonathan Hirn $2,000.
2005 ($7,000): Jeff Kearns $3,000; Sarah Pollo $2,500; Jimmy Spencer $1,500.
2004 ($7,000): Sarah Pollo $3,000; Jaclyn Schultz $2,000; ST Van Airsdale $1,000; Emily Page $1,000.
2003 ($7,000): Andy Jensen $3,000; ST Van Airsdale $2,500; Lindsay Comstock $1,500.
2002 ($4,000): Jon Ortiz $3,000; Antonio Sarabia $1,000.
2001 ($6,250): Greg Kane $3,000; Aaron Benevidez $2,500; Monica Ewing $750.
2000 ($7,000): Greg Kane $3,000; Jason Anderson $2,500; Charlotte Sandez Kosa $1,500
1999 ($7,000): Kristi Garrett $2,500; Clayton Stalter $2,000; Robert Johnson $1,500; Mike Hambree $1,000.
1998 ($6,000): John Montgomery; June Vargas; Melissa Jones.




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