PRSA Silicon Valley Recognizes Four Bay Area College Students with Scholarship Funding
PRSA Silicon Valley Recognizes Four Bay Area College Students with Scholarship Funding

PRSA Silicon Valley

Jada Hallman, Stanford University

Kaelin Peralta, San Jose State University

Meseret Mehzun, University of San Francisco

Miguel Carrillo, California State University, East Bay

The Chapter’s Diversity and Multicultural Scholarship awarded $4,000 to address the talent gap within the communications industry.

There is a pool of talented, creative individuals that remain largely untapped in our industry”

— Meghan Fintland, president of the PRSA Silicon Valley Chapter

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, August 31, 2023/ — PRSA Silicon Valley, a community-driven organization focused on empowering communications professionals in Silicon Valley, has awarded four Bay Area undergraduate students funding to cultivate the next generation of diverse communications leaders.

The Diversity and Multicultural Scholarship recognized (from left to right) Jada Hallman, Stanford University; Kaelin Peralta, San Jose State University; Meseret Mehzun, University of San Francisco; and Miguel Carrillo, California State University, East Bay, with a $1,000 scholarship each for their work and commitment to the field of public relations, marketing, and communications.

“There is a pool of talented, creative individuals that remain largely untapped in our industry,” said Meghan Fintland, president of the PRSA Silicon Valley Chapter. “By equipping these students and recent graduates with the resources and mentorships they need now, we’re paving the path for the future success of communications professionals.”

In 2022, 81.4% of public relations specialists identified as white, 12.2% identified as Black, 2.4% as Asian, and 11.9% as Latino or Hispanic, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Silicon Valley is the epicenter of innovation, creativity, and diversity. Communications professionals must represent all audiences and amplify the powerful voices of our communities, creating a chain reaction that benefits the industries we serve for years to come.

“From a social perspective, diversity is incredibly important to build a feeling of comfort, safety, and trust. When a public relations team very visibly has multiple, diverse voices giving their input, it shows,” said Kaelin Peralta, San Jose State University.

Already, these winners have demonstrated a commitment to the growing field of communications, contributing creative ideas and fresh leadership to the organizations and associations they’ve been a part of.

“To be a part of a people-centered team requires a commitment to empathy-driven, community-oriented service,” said Jada Hallman, Stanford University. “My time as an Editorial Intern at the San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) during the pandemic afforded me a glimpse into such work that centralizes people’s lives and values their diverse experiences.”

For Meseret Mehzun, diverse communications proved critical during her time working with the Eritrean-American Community in Los Angeles and nationally, making health information relating to COVID-19 more accessible.

“We were able to use our cultural knowledge to gather 1,300 people for a few days to come to vaccination clinics,” Mehzun said. “Now Kedren Community Health Center has a credible relationship with many African communities in LA.”

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

PRSA Silicon Valley established the scholarship, in partnership with PRSA Foundation, to create an inclusive future for the communications profession and empower talented and diverse students seeking a career in PR by providing financial support and mentorship opportunities.

In 2021, the inaugural year of the award, PRSA Silicon Valley awarded ten scholarships due to the overwhelming generosity of sponsors that resulted in raising $75,000 by May 2021. Because of the extraordinary fundraising success, the Chapter committed to making three additional annual awards in 2022. The Chapter extends a huge thank you to the sponsors who have again made it possible to provide these scholarships.

Thank you also to our judges for this year’s decisions:
Jazmin Eusébio, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Senior Specialist & Public Relations Senior Account Executive, Highwire PR
Meghan Fintland, Senior Director of External Communications of Early Warning Services, owner of Zelle
Priya Ramesh, President and Founder, CEO Communications LLC
Deidre Wright, Public Relations Director, Airship & CEO, Strategic Stories

Proceeds from 16th Annual Media Predicts to Support Scholarship Fund

Proceeds from the 16th Annual Media Predicts gala, being held this year on Wednesday, December 6, 2023 at the Grand Bay Hotel, will be donated in support of the PRSA Silicon Valley Diversity & Multicultural Scholarship program. Sponsorships are now available. Please reach out to [email protected] for more information on the sponsorship packages available.

To become a mentor or mentee as part of our Mentor Match program, complete a short form here.

Make sure to follow the chapter on LinkedIn, X, Facebook, Instagram, and Threads for the latest news and updates.

About PRSA Silicon Valley
PRSA Silicon Valley is a community-driven organization that empowers communications professionals looking to cultivate their best careers. A regional chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, PRSA Silicon Valley is part of a national network of more than 20,000 communication professionals focused on connecting and supporting individuals at all stages of their careers. PRSA Silicon Valley’s newly renewed 2023 mission focuses on DE&I, mentorship, and networking. Membership is open year-round. To join PRSA Silicon Valley, visit this link.

Maxwell Morgan, VP Marketing
PRSA Silicon Valley
[email protected]
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