Writing Her Own Destiny
May 21, 2012 by Becca Hansen
Senior Mallory Baker earns a significant monetary award going toward her college education.
Graduating Senior Mallory Baker, through her love of writing and her commitment to Journalism, has earned the Dottie Roberts Scholarship.
The Dottie Roberts Foundation awards scholarships to women going into Journalism who show a particular interest in the publishing industry and demonstrate a financial need to attend college. The scholarship is intended to support entrepreneurial young women who embody characteristics of hard work, self-discipline, and integrity in their college preparation for careers in publishing. The scholarship ranges from $3,000 to $15,000, typically awarding about $10,000 per recipient. However, the amount awarded varies based on the financial need of the applicant. “I was very surprised to have won. I didn’t think I would. It is a huge relief to not have to worry about paying for college for a year; it feels great,” said Baker.
For Mallory, joining the 2011-2012 Newspaper staff at TJ, and becoming a copy editor, catalyzed a developing passion for writing. Newspaper Advisor Matt Spampinato, early into the spring semester, gave several students in his class flyers explaining the Dottie Roberts Scholarship and encouraged them to apply. “Mr. Spampinato handed me the sheet for the scholarship and said he thought I had good chance of winning. I wasn’t really planning on applying because I had applied for so many scholarships and hadn’t gotten any of them. I was feeling pretty discouraged. In the airport over Spring Break, I had extra time and began applying,” said Baker.
In order to be eligible for the Dottie Roberts applicants must submit a resume, a personal statement, letters of recommendation, and display an interest in the publication of printed material through such work on a school newspaper, yearbook, or magazine. “I wrote a personal essay about some of the struggles I’ve had to overcome and how that experience has taught me that people are more than what meets the eye. I related it to my interest in Journalism by explaining how the two are connected. It’s important as a Journalist to find those details in people that make them different than what is assumed, and present them in a particular light,” said Baker.
A few weeks after first applying, Mallory got an email saying she was one of seven finalists and was called in for an interview. “The two people before me at the interview were already in college so I didn’t feel like I had a very good chance. The group that interviewed me was made up of four women. One was a lawyer, two work for trade magazines, and the fourth owns a newspaper company called New West Publishing,” said Baker. She explains that a trade magazine is a specialized publication that focuses on one specific area. “One of the ladies that interviewed me read my feature article on Harrison Ory and actually knew him, so that was kind of cool. They also asked me about my future goals and aspirations.”
Two days following the interview, Baker received an email saying she had been awarded $18,000. “I found out during my physics class. We were taking a test and I had to explain to Mr. Vore I couldn’t focus anymore and needed to go. I couldn’t get a hold of my mom and when I finally did she thought I was kidding. After I told her a few times she got really excited, a little emotional, and took me out to dinner. I was really surprised not only to win but to have gotten so much money. The scholarship description said scholarships ranged from $3,000 to 15,000 so I figured I would be lucky to get that,” said Baker.
Friends, family, and teachers at TJ were all excited for Mallory when hearing her news. Newspaper Advisor Spampinato had this to say: “I’m a big fan of Mallory’s, and I don’t think this could have gone to a better person. Her writing and editing skills are outstanding, and her professional approach to all of her publications is inspiring. For her to get this money and not have to worry about affording college is a well-deserved gift. I know she’ll make us all proud.”
Since officially finding out in mid April, Mallory has begun to look forward to college and at the classes she will be taking. “Now that I’ve won the scholarship I’m going to be a Journalism Major. I was going to be undeclared going into CSU (Colorado State University) but now my classes will be focused on Journalism. Some of the classes I will be taking include media in society, news writing, and basic introduction journalism classes,” said Baker.
Though Mallory doesn’t know exactly what she wants to do in the future, she knows Journalism is the direction in which she wants to go. “I don’t know where I want to go with Journalism, which is one thing I asked at the interview. Since newspapers are dying, I was a little concerned about the field. They told me that magazines are actually growing and that writing for one would be a good option. I also would like to possibly be an editor, maybe a book editor or a copy editor for a publishing company,” said Baker.