Two communications majors who “stopped out” of their education are receiving the Ajay Castro Scholarship for Re-entering Women from the Association for Women in Communications San Antonio Chapter for the 2018-19 school year.
Joyce Raposo, a senior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, and Jackie Velez, a senior at the University of the Incarnate Word, are sharing the $2,000 award.
Raposo, 54, who left the workforce after 30 years, including 15 years as a marketing representative in the healthcare industry, returned to complete her bachelor’s degree after a 13-year absence. She had earned her associate’s degree from St. Philip’s College and maintained a 4.0 GPA. When she left her last employer, she discovered that she needed more than experience to secure an interview for jobs she felt qualified to do. She is married with a daughter in college and is raising two younger relatives. She plans to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Communications with a minor in Business Administration in December 2018.
Velez, 39, has accomplished her goals while enduring spina bifida, hospitalizations, surgery and being confined to a wheelchair. After not doing well in her early college years, she did odd jobs and wanted more out of life. She took up writing as a hobby; then it became a passion. After moving in with her sister in 2013, she decided to return to San Antonio College after a 15-year hiatus. Velez earned her associate degree in Radio, Television and Film in 2016 and is scheduled to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts with a concentration in Journalism in December 2018. She wants to write content for television and earn her master’s degree.
Established in 1989, the scholarship is named in honor of the late Audreyjane “Ajay” Castro, a longtime public relations professional and AWC member. The San Antonio Area Foundation administers the scholarship. It is presented to undergraduate women majoring in Communications in a Bexar County college or university and who has returned to school after at least a three-year absence.
AWC-San Antonio is celebrating 70 years of existence and includes members in communications fields, including print and broadcast journalism, public relations, speech communication, advertising, visual arts and digital media.