Aspiring Journalists to Receive Scholarships at Reception Featuring Veteran
The San Diego Union-Tribune Sports Journalist Jim Trotter
San Diego, Ca. – May 23, 2023 – The San Diego Association of Black Journalists (SDABJ) is helping to pave the path for four aspiring San Diego-area journalists to achieve their career goals. Khalil Mitchell, Javier Moreno Colon, Jayden Hanzy and JohVonne Roberts will receive SDABJ scholarships at a reception featuring veteran The San Diego Union-Tribune sports journalist Jim Trotter.
Since its founding in 2000, SDABJ has awarded at least 70 annual scholarships to high school and college students pursuing journalism and other communications careers. The 2023 scholarship reception occurs Saturday, June 10, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the NBC 7/Telemundo studios, 9680 Granite Ridge Drive. Tickets are available at www.sdabj.org for $30 and $35 at the door. The reception will be emceed by NBC 7’s Omari Fleming, who is the current president of SDABJ, and Fox 5 San Diego’s Alani Letang who serves as treasurer.
Trotter, who will serve as the reception’s keynote speaker, spent 18 years as a San Diego sportswriter. He recently joined The Athletic after his highly publicized departure from NFL Media. Trotter said questioning Roger Goodell in a news conference about the organization’s commitment to diversity and equity led to his contract not being renewed. A graduate of Howard University, he is a Pro Football Hall of Fame voter, a former president of Pro Football Writers of America, and the author of “Junior Seau: The Life and Death of a Football Icon.”
A local chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, SDABJ advocates for and honors excellence among area African American journalists. The local nonprofit sensitizes media to the importance of fairness in the workplace; expands job opportunities; and hosts mentoring, professional development, and recruitment activities for aspiring area journalists.
Hanzy and Roberts will each receive SDABJ’s $1,500 Ozzie Roberts and Donyale Henderson scholarships, which the organization awards to students enrolled in journalism and communications programs at four-year colleges. Roberts was a longtime Union-Tribune columnist, and Henderson was a founding member who passed away in January 2021.
Mitchell, a Morse High School senior, and Moreno Colon, who attends Palomar Community College, will each receive SDABJ’s $1,000 scholarships awarded to high school and community college students.
More About the Scholarship Recipients
Khalil Mitchell, a Morse High School senior, will attend Cal State Fullerton, where he plans to major in communications or journalism to pursue a career as a sportscaster. “Sports are a huge part of my life, and I’ve been inspired by the iconic voices of Stephen A. Smith and Kenny Beacham. I hope to be a leading voice in sports and eventually start my own network,” he said.
Javier Moreno Colon, a student at Palomar Community College, said he strives to pursue the truth and to use the power of the media “to bring avoided issues to light.” Moreno Colon describes himself as open-minded and compassionate and has a deep fascination with literature. “Literature is what inspires me to pursue journalism and use the purest literature to convey the gravity of a story,” he said.
Jayden Hanzy is in his second year at San Diego State University. Originally from Carson, California, he is majoring in journalism, pursuing a sports broadcasting career. “My biggest motivation is the lives that I know I could change through my career,” he said. “I am elated to start my career and cannot wait to see what my future has in store for me!”
JohVonne Roberts is a rising senior majoring in journalism and media studies with an honors minor in interdisciplinary studies. Originally from Los Angeles, Roberts is pursuing a career as a sportswriter and producer. Head captain of the SDSU Diamonds Majorette Dance Team, Roberts said, “My family inspires me to remain resilient, stay on the right path, and have fun with everything I do. I give God all glory for all the doors he has opened for me.”
San Diego Loyal, SeaWorld San Diego, Broadway San Diego, and San Diego Symphony graciously donated raffle items for this year’s SDABJ Scholarship Reception. In addition, Cali BBQ is providing the food at the reception. For more information on giving back to SDABJ, sponsoring the reception, or becoming a member, please visit www.sdabj.org.
About San Diego Association of Black Journalists
The San Diego Association of Black Journalists (SDABJ) is the local chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). SDABJ is a 501(c) (3) organization and was founded in 2000 by a small group of journalists and communications professionals, including Jim Trotter, Maria Hunt, Jerry McCormick, Ozzie Roberts, Gil Griffin, Bernie Jones, Samuel Autman, Lisa Lake, Booker Crenshaw and Kelly Williams. SDABJ has approximately 20 registered members working in print, broadcast, public relations and academia.
The nonprofit organization’s goals include increasing the number of Black journalists in management positions and encouraging Black journalists to become entrepreneurs. SDABJ works to foster an exemplary group of professionals that honors excellence and outstanding achievements by Black journalists, and outstanding achievement in the media industry as a whole, particularly when it comes to providing balanced coverage of the Black community and society at large. The organization works with high schools and colleges to identify and encourage Black students to become journalists and to diversify faculties and related curriculum, and are also committed to providing informational and training services to the general public. All fundraising efforts go toward academic scholarships and its student training programs such as “Pro for a Day,” a journalism boot camp where students are taught how to produce their own news stories on a variety of platforms under the tutelage of professional journalists. Learn more at www.sdabj.org.