Award fourth for Blair student
Senior Ely Portillo, editor-in-chief of Silver Chips Online (SCO), has been named a recipient of the annual Knight Ridder minority scholarship, one of the most prestigious awards for high school journalists. Portillo is one of five awardees this year and is the fourth to win from Blair.
The award from Knight Ridder, one of the most prominent newspaper companies in the nation, includes a $40,000 scholarship over four years, four paid summer internships and a guaranteed job after college. Portillo will be interning at the Knight Ridder Washington Bureau this summer.
Applicants for the scholarship were selected by a number of editors from Knight Ridder newspapers, who examined grades, test scores and interest in pursuing journalism, according to the Knight Ridder scholarship website. Students were first selected as local winners and then chosen as national winners after an interview process.
According to Tony Pugh, Washington area coordinator of the Knight Ridder scholarship program, Portillo was a particularly impressive candidate and had a very successful interview. "He was very sharp - polished and poised. His answers were well-thought out and he was really confident," explained Pugh.
Portillo also brought along an extremely large number of stories, according to Pugh. "[Portillo] was prolific. He had more clips than anybody we had ever seen," he said.
Portillo attributes his success to his journalism experience at Blair. "My writing experience and leadership in SCO probably helped," he said.
Blair applicants are generally among the best candidates, said Pugh. "Blair always does well," he explained. "[It] has a very good high school program."
Seema Kacker. Seema is a senior in the magnet this year, and is thrilled to be a part of the Online senior staff. She also plays tennis. More »