Applications for the 2019 PRSA Scholarship

The California Gold Coast chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is offering two scholarships to recognize outstanding individual college students who are committed to studying communication or public relations in the Tri-Counties area. The group will award two $500 scholarships in early 2019.


“We believe that academic endeavors are essential for individuals to reach their full potential. For that reason, our chapter is encouraging students to attend a four-year institution and reach higher educational achievement,” said PRSA California Gold Coast Chapter President and Scholarship Committee Chair Nancy Mayerson.


The chapter raised funds for the scholarships through program meeting fees and sponsorships, and hopes to grow the scholarship fund as the chapter grows.


“We believe that the heart of a successful PR career is service to one’s community, so we’re seeking students who have both high academic achievement and a solid commitment to community service. So many worthy organizations rely on public relations and community outreach to fulfill their mission, and we want to see our young professionals helping to make a difference,” Mayerson said.


Applications are being accepted through February 28, 2019. Winners will be announced in May of 2019. To be eligible for the scholarships, students must:


  • Be a student currently enrolled in a four-year institution of higher education accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) located in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo or Ventura county.
  • Have a 3.0 GPA minimum.
  • Have a declared major in public relations or communication.
  • Be in good academic standing with his or her educational institution.
  • Have not received a PRSA scholarship in the past.

The 2018 PRSA Scholarships awardees

Betty Hang (left) and Emily Graybill (right)

The California Gold Coast chapter of the Public Relations Society of America recently awarded its annual scholarships to Betty Hang and Emily Graybill, two students attending four-year colleges in the chapter’s geographic territory of Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. The scholarship program is designed to support local education and professionalism in communication and public relations.


University of California, Santa Barbara, student Betty Hang is majoring in communication and sociology. She has volunteered as a Life of the Party peer leader/student intern to help prevent student misuse of drugs and alcohol. She also serves as representative at large of the Residential Housing Association (RHA). Hang said she is attracted to the PR profession because “I value relationships and building a strong community in my work environment.”

Emily Graybill is a sophomore communications major at California Lutheran University. She works in the fund development department of Interface Children & Family Services while also working at a public relations agency and going to school full time. Graybill wants to leverage this education and experience to work in public relations for a non-profit. “The ultimate dream is to take what I'm currently learning through school and my internships and use it to be a part of something bigger than myself,” she said.


The two scholarships of $500 each were awarded based on student academic merit and community involvement. “We had a significant number of very qualified students apply for the PRSA Gold Coast scholarship in our second year, which made it very hard to narrow the field to these two,” said Nancy Mayerson, PRSA Gold Coast chapter president. “Betty and Emily are both women of integrity and combined great academics with a contribution to the community and a commitment to the field. They are great examples of the future of the field of public relations.”


PRSA is a nonprofit organization chartered in 1947 and the world’s largest organization of public relations professionals with more than 21,000 public relations and communications professionals across the United States. The California Gold Coast Chapter was founded in 2014 and serves Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

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