Feb. 28, 2017
CONTACT: Dr. Trudy Hanson 806-651-2800, firstname.lastname@example.org
CANYON, Texas—On March 6, West Texas A&M University senior broadcast journalism major, Jonathan Espinoza, will be seated across the table from the Truman Scholarship panelists in Austin. The panel is charged with selecting the recipients of the highly competitive scholarships awarded each year by the Truman Foundation to students who plan to pursue careers in government or elsewhere in public service. Espinoza’s trip to Austin began more than a year ago when he started the process of applying for this prestigious scholarship. After regional interviews, 60 to 65 students are chosen to receive the Truman Scholarship valued at $30,000. Espinosa is one of 10 Texans vying for one of those spots.
“Each year about 600 candidates are nominated and apply to the competition,” Laura Seals, coordinator of Nationally Competitive Scholarships at WTAMU, said. “Following the nomination, candidates complete an application that details their leadership, public service and academic experiences. Jonathan is an ideal candidate for the Truman Scholarship because of his history in public service as a veteran and his dedication to effecting change at WTAMU. As he developed his application, he took every edit and comment to heart and developed a stronger proposal.”
Espinoza, who was selected as a McNair Scholar in 2016 and serves as co-editor of the university’s newspaper, The Prairie, said the application process made him think about his life goals.
“The application process provided me the opportunity to truly reflect on my life thus far and has helped shape who I hope to be,” he said. “One of the biggest portions of the application was the development of a policy proposal and my background as a McNair Scholar helped shape my proposal about a nationwide program aimed at preventing suicide among LGBT youth. I have found that my heart lies in advocacy for the LGBT community, and I hope to one day work to shape policy aimed at ending discrimination.”
According to the Truman Scholarship website, this scholarship serves as a federal memorial to the 33rd president and awards merit-based scholarships to college students who plan to pursue careers in government or public service. Truman scholars receive up to $30,000 for graduate or professional education and also have the opportunity to participate in leadership development activities through internships and employment with the federal government. Students who are interested in public policy and pursuing a Truman Scholarship should contact Seals at 806-651-2587.
After his 20-minute interview on March 6, Espinoza may be moving closer to fulfilling his dream.