Scholarships and Contests

Susanne M. Pagano Scholarship Fund

Houston SPJ offers a $1000 scholarship annually to students pursuing a four-year degree in journalism, communications, digital media or a related field. They must be classified as a sophomore, junior or senior enrolled in a relevant degree program at an accredited four-year educational institution in Texas; and be from the nine-county Houston metropolitan area (Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Brazoria, Galveston, Liberty, Wharton, Chambers and Austin).

The Houston Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists created this scholarship fund to honor Susanne Pagano, a long-time chapter member who died suddenly in April 2014.

Detailed information about applying for the scholarship is available on this site.

Our scholarship fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Please consider making a financial contribution to ensure the scholarship is available every year.

Sunshine Week Essay Contest

In March 2020, Houston SPJ awarded the first-ever Sunshine Week Essay award.  This award is open to high school juniors and seniors in any school district that serves students residing in the city of Houston.  The assignment is to write a 500- to 750-word essay on the topic of freedom of the press.  The winning author receives $50 and a commendation letter for their school file along with announcement of the win via social media and press release.  The contest will be held again next March in advance of Sunshine Week, an annual celebration of press freedom held mid-March.