Sister Rita Jeanne Scholarships, named for JEA's longtime treasurer, recognize some of the top high school journalists in the country. The contest begins at the state level. Winning portfolios from state Journalist of the Year competitions are sent to the national level. Portfolios are judged at the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention, and winners are announced at the convention's concluding awards ceremony. Scholarship funds - $3,000 for the top winner, and $850 each for runners-up (up to six runners-up awards are usually given) - are released to the student after the winners are announced.
Deadlines vary from state to state, so check with your JEA State Director for contest information specific to your state, including where to send your entry. Do not send your entry to JEA Headquarters. The state contest coordinator must send the winning state entry to be received at JEA by March 15.
Students start the competition within their home state. Please contact your JEA State Director for instructions on state contest submission. The tools on this site were designed for use at state and national contests, but candidates need to verify the procedures listed here are what they should do to enter their state first.
For national Journalist of the Year submissions, all entries must be digital. There are resources available here to help candidates get moving on the process. Advisers should give this URL address to eligible candidates. Part of the process is to see what candidates will do to market themselves. This should be the student's project; however, advisers may guide them however much or as little as they see fit.
The judging rubric aligns with the 11 key areas in the Curriculum Initiative. Eligible contestants should be encouraged to review all guidelines. Candidates are required to organize their work examples in their digital portfolio by these 11 areas.