A college sophomore and Ridge View High School alum from Columbia, South Carolina was among 18 budding journalists who were presented with scholarship awards by First Lady Michelle Obama at Saturday’s White House Correspondents Association dinner in Washington, D.C.
Jazmin Goodwin, a sophomore at Howard University in Washington, D.C., received the one-time award of $7,000 to continue her studies toward a bachelor’s in broadcast journalism. She is currently in the university’s School of Communications Annenberg Honors Program and a member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society.
“It was an amazing experience, a spectacle, I mean I’m still soaking it in,” she said Saturday night after being called on stage and receiving a hug from the First Lady. Goodwin said it was overwhelming to be in a room with so many well-known journalists and media personalities.
“I just feel very honored and very convicted in what I want to do as far as journalism, with getting this award and being all these people and breathing the same air as them.”
Goodwin is the campus editor of Hilltop, a Howard University newspaper, and acontributing writer to the USA Today College site.
“I’m really strongly passionate about issues of human struggle and resilience,” she said. “My journey, I feel like, is a success story, so whenever I’m able to connect with people who have come from struggle and have made it to a place where they’re inspiring other people, it really just gives me that extra push to keep going, and keep breaking those barriers as a journalist.”
Her essay for the application focused on an experience she had speaking with an Egyptian activist on a bus ride to Washington.
Goodwin was born in Landstruhl, Germany, and raised in Columbia, where she graduated in 2014 from Richland 2’s Ridge View High School. She is one of three Howard students to win prestigious annual scholarship of the White House Correspondents Association.
After Goodwin graduates in 2018, she hopes to become an investigative broadcast journalist, covering justice issues across the world – and she could see herself being a White House correspondent, too.
“My ideal situation would be being in this room in the future in a different capacity,” she said.
“I think there is a huge lack of representation in many areas from women to people of color and I hope to see that change and transition so we have that space in the room, and we have that voice and platform, so people can understand that it’s not that we’re not willing to speak, we just want to be heard.”
President Barack Obama gave his eighth and final speech at the annual dinner, which brings together politicians, journalists, Hollywood and newsmakers.