Scholarship Winners

2017 Scholarships

Marking 27 years of scholarship support for writers and student journalists, the Bess Whitehead Scott Scholarship Fund has announced three winners for 2017. Receiving scholarships of $1,500 each are two college journalism majors and one writer in the “40 and older” category.

This year’s awards bring the Fund’s total outlay to more than $65,000. The first scholarship was granted in 1991 in honor of Scott, a pioneering woman in newspapers, advertising and teaching. During World War I, Scott talked her way into the Houston Post city room and became the first woman to cover news stories. She was still a working writer when she reached the age of 100. The Bess W. Scott Fund is affiliated with the Austin Community Foundation.


Scott Journalism Scholarships

Denver Donchez

Denver Donchez, 27, of San Marcos is a senior at Texas State University, majoring in journalism and minoring in women’s studies. She has worked two full-time jobs while putting herself through school—all while maintaining at 4.0 grade average.

Donchez says her goal is “to be an advocate for the socially marginalized individuals who feel that they have no voice.”

Darcy Sprague

Darcy Sprague, 20, has known since high school she wanted a career as a writer. The junior at Texas State University has had several journalism internships, including Austin Woman magazine, and this year traveled to Nicaragua to cover poverty and health issues as part of a study abroad program.

Sprague says she would like to work for a nonprofit and cover humanitarian crises. She is from Elgin.

Scott Scribes Scholarship

(for ages 40 and older)

Audrey Webb

Audrey Webb, 56, of Pflugerville is a graduate student in dramatic writing at Texas State University. She is working toward a Master of Fine Arts and wants to “apply my artistic abilities to the creation of dramatic works that provide not only entertainment but a fresh look at social situations that affect us all.” One of her plays was selected for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Webb previously worked as a reporter, copy editor, marketing writer and editor.


Past Scholarship Winners

2016 Scholarships
Rae Jefferson — Baylor University
Anna Herod — Texas State University-San Marcos
Jan Tomas — Writers’ League of Texas workshops

2015 Scholarships
Maleesa Johnson — Baylor University
Kristen Watson — University of North Texas
Sonia Natalka — Austin Community College

2014 Scholarships
Barry Maxwell — Austin Community College
Jordan Gass-Pooré — Texas State University-San Marcos

2013 Scholarships
Lindsay Medina — Texas State University-San Marcos
Kathleen Floyd — Midwestern State University

2012 Scholarships
Zahra Farah — Texas State University in San Marcos
LaJuana Hale — University of North Texas in Denton

2011 Scholarships
Nick Dean – Baylor University, Waco
Caitlin Giddens – Baylor University, Waco
Elizabeth Langton – University of North Texas, Denton
Kellie Salome – St. Edward’s University, Austin

2010 Scholarships
Catharine Lynn Hirst – Baylor University
Pennie Freeland Boyett – University of North Texas

2009 Scholarships
Erika Pedroza – Baylor University
Philip Perez – Del Mar College

2008 Scholarships
Jackie Baylon – Texas State University-San Marcos
Alex Hering – Texas State University-San Marcos
Margaret Anderegg – University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Scholarships Score: Past winners recall how the BWS award was a boost to their finances and morale.