Because Its Gift Helped Cover Contest Fees For Struggling Young Journalists, YJI Issues A Public Thanks To South Korean Academy

Narine Daneghyan of Yerevan, Armenia, displays the certificate she received for winning top honors in the sports feature category in the 2012 contest.
Youth Journalism International’s Excellence in Journalism contest is now in its fourth year, and the deadline is fast approaching.
Now seems a good time to remind everyone what makes YJI’s contest different.
The other aspect of the YJI contest that sets it apart is that unlike any other journalism contest we’ve known or heard of, entry fees can be waived for individuals (not schools) in cases of hardship.
We know there are young people around the world who are doing great journalism but may not be able to afford even the modest entry fee that accompanies this contest.
The fee waiver has been offered since the contest began, and every year, there are young people who explain why they can’t pay, and they’re allowed to enter anyway. We don’t want to exclude anyone from participating because of a small fee.
However, the contest is costly and the fees are important, so we appreciate it when the fees are paid. Even more, we’re grateful to those who add a little to their own fee to help cover those who can’t pay.
Last year, so many people were asking for fee waivers that we nearly abolished the practice – until we got a generous donation from the EPS Junior Academy in Seoul, South Korea that helped immensely.
So right now, as we’re preparing for an onslaught of entries, we’d like to pause and thank Mr. Jeffery Ahn, director of the EPS Junior Academy, for thinking beyond his own students’ fees and making it possible for so many others to participate.
We hope some of the others who enter the contest will be able to follow Mr. Ahn’s kind example and add a little extra for those who can’t pay. Maybe even some interested readers who aren’t entering anything at all might consider this kind of contribution.

Every gift of any size helps and is gratefully put to use as the cost of prizes and postage is considerable.
Contributions and fees can be paid by check or credit card using PayPal and details can be found here.

The other remarkable thing about YJI’s contest is that it’s worldwide. As long as the text is in English and the person enterng is not a professional journalist – and was age 19 or under at the time of publication – the work of any young person, anywhere, is eligible.
We know of no other journalism contest that is open to young people all around the globe.

Winners of the top awards – Student Journalist of the Year, Journalism Educator of the Year, Courage in Journalism and specially-named awards for the best news story and best commentary – receive beautiful crystal trophies.

Winners in all categories receive a personalized, custom-made certificate. Contest results will be announced in May and awards mailed to winners.

Entries are due Friday, Feb. 8, so don’t waste a minute. Get yours in today! Here’s the link for the rules and other contest information.

Mark Ionescu, YJI’s 2012 Journalism Educator of the Year, poses with his class at The John Carroll School in Bel Air, Maryland. (Photo provided)