Journalism Scholarship Created in Honor of Virginian-Pilot Reporter Sierra Jenkins


Scholarship created to honor the life of Virginian-Pilot reporter Sierra Jenkins

Journalism scholarship for long-time Virginia residents


The Virginian-Pilot recently reported that there is now a scholarship fund for long-time Virginia residents pursuing a degree in Journalism or in Communication with a Journalism focus. This is a scholarship administered by the Hampton Roads Community Foundation in honor of Sierra Jenkins, a 25 year old Virginian-Pilot reporter who passed away last year after being shot in Norfolk in March of 2022, just days after her birthday.

Jenkins graduated from Georgia State University in 2019 with a Bachelors of Arts in Journalism as well as a minor in African American Studies. Captain’s Log News Editor, Evelyn Davidson, wrote in a story for the March 23, 2022 issue of The Captain’s Log, “Jenkins covered stories relating to peninsula education in her reporting for The Virginian-Pilot and Daily Press. Her recent work includes a story on how Virginia educators feel about critical race theory being taught in classrooms and stories on how Virginia schools are handling COVID-19. She had also recently attended the last presidential search committee meeting at CNU.”

The Hampton Roads Community Foundation has established the following requirements for the scholarship: “undergraduate students who are longtime Virginia residents pursuing a degree in journalism or a degree in communications with a concentration in journalism at a four-year Virginia college or university.” It is also mentioned that, “the scholarship is geared toward Black and African American students and those from historically marginalized racial and ethnic backgrounds.”

Since CNU does not have a journalism minor and there is not a specific journalism focus within the Communication Studies major, it was unclear whether this new scholarship would apply to our students. 

After emailing with Cherise Newsome, who assists with media inquiries at the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, she said, “The scholarship is for students pursuing a degree in journalism or a degree in communications with a concentration in journalism. Minors and career intent are not part of the criteria established by the donor.” 

Although students at CNU are unable to benefit from this scholarship, The Captain’s Log extends its appreciation to the Hampton Roads Community Foundation for their effort to support aspiring journalists and commemorate Sierra Jenkins.