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PRSA Puget Sound Scholarship Recipients Announced

The recipients of PRSA Puget Sound's Sally Heet Memorial Scholarship and Horace and Susie Revels Cayton Scholarship are Satenik Avedisyan of the University of Washington and Sherwin Francies of Washington State University, respectively. Learn more about these two outstanding students below, and consider donating to the PRSA Puget Sound scholarship fund

Satenik Avedisyan (Sally Heet Memorial Scholarship)

How will the scholarship support you in pursuit of your career and your current success?

I will be using this scholarship to pay for my classes and textbooks this upcoming year. The Sally Heet Memorial scholarship will support me in my goal of graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in Communication this upcoming June. My hope is that after graduation I can pursue a career in public relations.

Why is it important for professionals to invest in future generations of PR communicators?

By investing in future generations, professionals can help smooth the transition for students entering the workforce. The transition from a school environment to the workforce can be very intimidating. During my first internship I realized there were a lot of things about the work environment that I was unprepared for. It was through the help of my mentor that I was able to better adjust to the expectations of the workplace. My mentor helped me feel accepted and better prepared to take on future challenges within my career.

What advice would you give those thinking about applying?

My advice is that if you are considering applying you should just do it! In the past I have been so intimidated by the questions on a scholarship application that I end up not submitting anything. It is better to take the time to apply because there is always a chance you might get it.

Sherwin Francies (Horace and Susie Revels Cayton Scholarship)

How will the scholarship support you in pursuit of your career and your current success?

 This scholarship will allow me to continue and finish my education while pursuing other academic and professional endeavors. As an international student, my education is fully funded by my parents, and COVID-19 brought forward an unprecedented degree of financial uncertainty across the world. Without this scholarship, I would have been forced to defer enrollment indefinitely and return home.

This scholarship has put me closer to a degree in strategic communication. I now have the opportunity to finish my education and pursue both academic and professional interests. Participating in the Bateman competition this coming year has been something I’ve been looking forward to and a month ago, it was doubtful if I could participate since I will have to take up additional hours at work just to make ends meet. With the help of this internship, I am confident that I can participate in Bateman.

It is extra-curricular activities with organizations like PRSSA and other opportunities such as Bateman that I attribute my accomplishments to, and I am happy to be able to continue doing that.

Why is it important for professionals to invest in future generations of PR communicators?

Without PR professionals’ investment in the future generations of PR, the future of the profession itself is at risk.

I believe that every person has received help to some degree, to get where they are right now. Investment of time to the development and betterment of the future is perhaps the most important gift one can give to the future generation of communicators, especially in uncertain times like these.

Supporting and training the next generation of PR communicators helps evolve and better the industry. Without their support, aspiring communicators will spend much of their career catching up to where the professionals are now, rather than working towards new ideas and the betterment of the PR profession.

What advice would you give those thinking about applying?

There is very rarely success without trying and it never hurts to try.

When I applied for this scholarship, I did not think I would be awarded but simply hoped for the best outcome. Being confident in the work you have done and not being afraid to take a shot at it are both vital, in my opinion.

Prior to this, I have not received a scholarship from any PR or communications related entity. So, give it your best shot and hope for the best. If it doesn’t work out, you’ve learned something. I believe that failure teaches you more than success does, and it makes you appreciate your accomplishments even more, no matter how small it is.

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