By Becca King ’18
I think it’s very safe to say that Saturday night was one of my most incredible experiences, and I am so grateful to the Philip Merrill College of Journalism and the White House Correspondents’ Association for the opportunity of a lifetime. I can honestly say I am still starstruck that I was able to shake hands and talk with CBS Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett, someone I have consistently watched and idolized.
From the beginning, we all knew this year would be a bit different from previous ones, and it was. But the night was truly a celebration of the First Amendment, the truth, and everything that journalism stands for. It was a chance to really reflect on why we all do what we do everyday. It isn’t an easy job, but sitting in that ballroom, it was evident that everyone is incredibly passionate about this field. That makes me so excited to be a part of this profession.
As a scholarship recipient, I had the honor to meet with the White House Correspondents’ Association Board and so many other dedicated journalists. I got to know other scholarship winners from across the country as well as my mentor, Jacqueline Alemany, a White House reporter for CBS News. Standing on stage in front of the packed ballroom, hearing my name announced, and then shaking hands with THE Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein was nerve-wracking and surreal but also an incredibly humbling experience.
I walked away from last night feeling extremely blessed, but also incredibly excited and driven to take on the world of journalism. I think Hasan Minhaji put it best: “Thank you to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein for inspiring a generation of journalists, and thank you to Donald Trump for inspiring the next.”
Read the WTOP article about all the WHCA scholarship winners.
About the WHCA Scholarship
The scholarship is given to honor the memory of Frank R. Cormier, WHCA president in 1967, who for two decades exemplified the best qualities of White House correspondents in his crisp dispatches for the Associated Press. An annual award of $20,000 is divided among four students at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. The other Merrill student scholarship winners include Simone Thomas ’17, Naomi Harris ’17, and Simret Aklilu ’19.