In 2018, Boating Writers International introduced a scholarship fund to encourage more journalism and communications students to enter the boating press. Since its inception, the scholarship has honored one undergrad college student each year who has demonstrated a passion for the field of boating media and showed a clear career goal in the areas of writing, photography, video, broadcasting, film or art.
Being awarded the scholarship doesn’t just help students with their college costs; it also encourages them to enter the boating space.
“Winning the BWI scholarship was the first time I was formally recognized for my work as a marine journalist, and that was when it really became evident that this is something I could do as a career,” said Carly Sisson, recipient of the first BWI scholarship. “I felt much more confident about entering this industry full time after graduating with some credentials under my belt.”
Sisson, who was a student at the University of Vermont when she won, has remained in the marine segment, with editorial positions at Soundings and Power & Motoryacht magazines, both of which are part of Active Interest Media’s Marine Group, along with Soundings Trade Only.
“This scholarship was founded to encourage more students to consider working in the boating industry,” said Robert Beringer, a BWI member who played an active role in getting the scholarship off the ground. “Our industry needs new voices who understand the ever-changing media landscape. The scholarship helps make that happen.”
The scholarship awards money that has been donated by marine manufacturers. Prior sponsors include Pettit Paint, Chevron and Suzuki Marine.
The fund currently has an opportunity available and is looking for a title sponsor, one who understands the power of the boating press and the need to encourage more students to look to boating when considering a viable career path.
All funds collected go back to students, and donations are tax deductible. The organization that makes this investment would also be promoted in the BWI newsletter, online, on social media and at the scholarship awards ceremony.
The scholarship fund seeks an annual investment of $3,000. Interested parties can contact Beringer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Smaller donations to the scholarship fund can be made via PayPal at paypal.me/BWIScholarshipFund.
The scholarship fund is a separate entity from BWI and was granted nonprofit status by the Internal Revenue Service. The deadline to apply for the scholarship is Dec. 15. Applications are available at bwi.org.