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WASHINGTON, DC (August 17, 2022)– Today, NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists announced the recipients of the Leroy F. Aarons Scholarship Award, the Kay Longcope Scholarship Award, the Steve Mason Scholarship Award and the Facebook Journalism Project Scholarship Awards.

Blake McMillan (he/him) is the recipient of the 2022 Leroy F. Aarons Scholarship Award. McMillan is from Philadelphia, Mississippi and is a recent graduate of Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, where he was a double major in digital media and graphic design and was Co-Editor in Chief for BVU’s student-led newspaper, The Tack. This fall he will be attending The New School for Social Research in New York City where he will study Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism.

Mikaiah De La Cruz (she/her) is the recipient of the 2022 Kay Longcope Scholarship Award. She is a student at Emerson College pursuing a degree in journalism. Most recently, she worked on her high school newspaper and is hoping to pursue investigative journalism. 

Candace Pedraza (she/her) is the recipient of the 2022 Steve Mason Scholarship Award. Pedraza is a graduate student at the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY studying data reporting as well as health & science reporting. She currently serves as the summer intern with THE CITY, a local non-profit news publication in New York City and previously interned with City & State NY. She also works with The Knicks Wall as a lead writer and beat reporter covering Knicks moves, players and games for the popular blog and media outlet. 

The recipients of the 2022 Facebook Journalism Project Scholarship Awards are Liset Cruz, Ryan Kost, Lue Palmer, Rachael Robertson and Nicole Rosenthal. 

Cruz (she/her) is a first-generation Mexican-American and college student beginning her master’s degree as a Stabile Fellow at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Within the investigative specialization, Liset hopes to dive deeper into the multitude of issues at the intersection of power and marginalized communities. After graduation, Liset hopes to work as an investigative reporter or foreign correspondent.

Kost (they/them) is pursuing a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, where they hope to focus on issues related to addiction and incarceration (among other topics) in the Western and Southwestern United States. They most recently worked as a culture and enterprise writer for The San Francisco Chronicle. Previously, Kost wrote for The Oregonian and The Associated Press, covering local, state and national politics in the Pacific Northwest.  

Palmer (they/them) is pursuing a master’s degree at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. They are a writer and editor of literary work on climate, race and health, and they plan to cover issues of equity and climate response. At Columbia, Palmer is expanding their work to film, photography and audio. 

Robertson (she/her) is pursuing a master’s degree in journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY with a specialization in health reporting. She has five years of experience doing media and communications work for NYC elder care organizations and international medical nonprofits. As a journalist, she explores stories about bodies, medicine, identity, the environment, and death in print, data, and audio.

Rosenthal (they/them) is pursuing a master’s degree in investigative journalism this fall at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. They are an award-winning journalist covering immigration, aerospace contracts and international trade at Law360. They are a former New Jersey news manager at where, at the age of 22, they managed veteran and newcomer journalists alike, as well as had their work cited by publications from ProPublica to Politico.

For more information about scholarships and student opportunities, visit