Rhode Island PBS announces recipient of $60,000 journalism scholarship
The Met School graduate wins regional scholarship worth up to $60,000 over four years
Jaychele Nicole Schenck of Warwick has been selected to receive a Rhode Island PBS Foundation Scholarship for high school seniors or college students pursuing a career in broadcasting, communications, or journalism. The $15,000 annual award could total up to $60,000 over four years.
“We are so pleased to announce Jaychele is the recipient of this year’s scholarship,” said David W. Piccerelli, president of WSBE Rhode Island PBS. “The leadership and initiative she demonstrated in and out of school reveal the kind of passion and courage it takes to achieve success. In a strong field of impressive candidates, Jaychele’s application rose to the top.”
Schenck was selected from dozens of applicants from the station’s broadcast area in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. She plans to major in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Media & Culture at Bentley University.
“I am so incredibly honored to be receiving the Rhode Island PBS Scholarship. This is such a relief for my family and me, now that I will be attending my dream school debt-free. I am so grateful that I am already being recognized for my work in journalism,” said Schenck, a 2022 graduate of the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center.
Schenck began considering journalism as a career after getting a good reception to her commentary about professional wrestling on social media.
"I began to engage in Twitter groups that were focused on wrestling. It felt so amazing to be in a community, even online, where people were enjoying this form of entertainment as much as I was. After about a year or so of being in the internet wrestling community, I became a wrestling correspondent and personality," said Schenck.
She currently reports on professional wrestling as a writer for SEScoops, an industry-leading source for pro wrestling news. She also collaborates on podcasts on Late Night Grin.
"I originally was so nervous to get into the field where so many of my idols were. I am now peers with many of the wrestling journalists I look up to. Within the first two weeks, I was breaking exclusives, hosting interviews, writing editorials and starting my own podcasts," she remembers.
Schenck’s most recent project is the documentary video “Wrestling With Whiteness,” which focuses on sharing the stories of Black wrestlers and Black content creators and their experience in the wrestling community.
“Using a combination of interviews with Black wrestlers and Black content creators, 'Wrestling With Whiteness' uncovers the unique experiences of Black people in the industry and the rise of representation for performers and fans around the world,” she said.
Schenck is also a co-founder and the executive director of the national youth organization "Gen Z: We Want To Live.” In addition, she has worked with Young Voices, Sunrise Providence, Zero Hour, Planned Parenthood, March for Our Lives and the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence, among other organizations.
This is the fifth year the Rhode Island PBS Foundation has awarded scholarships of up to $15,000 through a $1 million scholarship fund created at the Rhode Island Foundation. The selection was made by a review committee coordinated by the Rhode Island Foundation.
“We are honored to partner with donors like Rhode Island PBS that appreciate the value of investing in young people and we encourage others to consider this type of support for future students. The impact of their generosity will be felt for decades as the recipients begin their careers and contribute to the civic life of their communities,” said Neil D. Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO.
Students had to submit an essay, a current academic transcript, a financial aid worksheet, proof of residency and a letter of recommendation from a teacher or professional attesting to the applicant’s merit towards a successful career in broadcasting, communications or journalism.
For more information about applying for the Rhode Island PBS Foundation scholarship next January, visit the Rhode Island Foundation website at rifoundation.org.
WSBE Rhode Island PBS is a community licensee operated by the non-profit Rhode Island PBS Foundation. A viewer-supported member of the PBS network of public television stations, WSBE uses the power of non-commercial media to educate, inform, engage, and inspire viewers of all ages in Rhode Island, southeastern Massachusetts and eastern Connecticut. For more information about the programs, and education and production services at WSBE, visit ripbs.org.