Youth in Print Scholarship Fund at EDSF Fills Industry Need for Future Leaders
Supporting the next generation of printers has never been more critical than it is now. As many printing industry professionals retire in the coming years, a new group of leaders will be needed to fill in that gap and address our industry’s rapid technological changes. For printing establishments to remain competitive in today’s market, they will need to recruit talented young individuals. To do that requires a focused industry effort to help talented students achieve their goals, and to help them better understand just how diverse the graphic arts industry is and how many career opportunities there are.
"The huge gap between press operations and graphic communications simply does not exist anymore. Communicating with customers today includes website development, graphic innovation, branding campaigns, social media and every type of mobile device imaginable — not just traditional print,” says Brenda Kai, executive director of the Electronic Document Scholarship Foundation (EDSF), an organization created in 1996 that is dedicated to enhancing the value and relevance of document and graphic communications worldwide.
Last year, EDSF and Printing Impressions teamed up to create the Youth in Print scholarship fund, which awards scholarships in the amount of $2,000 to full-time students attending an accredited college or university. To qualify, students must be committed to pursuing a career within the document management and graphic communication industry, and have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.
Two students who have benefitted from the financial aid are 2016 Youth in Print recipients Morgan Gale, a graphic design major at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio; and Melissa Trevino, a digital media major at the University of Houston.
For Gale, the news of being selected for the scholarship could not have come at a better time. “I was notified about the award just as I was wondering how to cover the rest of my bill for college, so this is like Christmas,” she wrote in a thank you letter. “This scholarship will give me the opportunity to focus on my studies instead of attempting to juggle a part-time job with the art curriculum.”
As a graphic designer, Gale points out that she would like to help her community through her art. “Something I have always been interested in is how art can impact other people. This scholarship gives me the opportunity to look more into that.”
What Gale said she likes most about being a graphic design major is being able to play around with different ways to communicate an idea. “I really like having that creative freedom,” she adds. “I would like to work doing communications for a nonprofit eventually, so that I can use my skills to further a cause that I care about.”
Like Gale, receiving a Youth in Print scholarship will allow Trevino to continue to concentrate more of her time on studying rather than the burden of incurring more student debt. “This award has given me more confidence in my future knowing that others believe in me and are investing in my future,” she wrote in a thank you letter.
Trevino realized her passion for digital media while completing an internship during her senior year of high school at a multimedia company in Houston. Through that experience, Trevino learned that she really enjoyed graphic design, as well as Web-based design. “Through this scholarship, I’ve learned more about the printing industry and what digital media entails to help me determine what I am really passionate about.”
Trevino had the opportunity to give a testimonial of how the Youth in Print scholarship has made an impact on her continuing education during the seventh annual Give Back @ Graph EDSF Scholarship Night, which was held during Graph Expo in Orlando, Fla. The fundraising event, which also included an auction of numerous donated items, was attended by 150 industry leaders and raised $34,000 for scholarships to be awarded in 2017.
“The Give Back @ Graph event was incredible. I was able to meet with some of the EDSF board of directors; it was truly an honor,” Trevino explains. “It is a rare case that a scholarship winner gets to meet with those [individuals] who made the scholarship possible.”
Attending her first Graph Expo, Trevino made the most out of her experience by walking through the aisles, talking with exhibitors and seeing live demos. What she really appreciated from her time on the show floor was being able to share it with the other Youth in Print scholarship recipients. “Being able to talk to them about things like G7 color standards, different substrates and inkjet versus toner-based digital printing was just incredible.”
Visit PIworld.com to watch PI Xchange video interviews with Morgan Gale and Melissa Trevino, as they discuss what receiving Youth in Print scholarships means to them and how these scholarships have helped pave the way toward new opportunities.