The end is always bittersweet but to be honest, the third and final round of Netroots Nation Scholarship Competition put on by DFA has been more sweet than bitter.
It's more sweet because thanks to your support and the support of two amazing coalition partners -- America's Voice and the National Council of La Raza -- we're sending SIXTY scholars to this year's Netroots Nation in Las Vegas.
We've come a long way since 2008 when we started this program. We started off hoping to send just nine folks, and then your support helped us send 30 that year and 40 the year after. Now, 60 -- sixty! -- of the netroot's best and brightest have the chance to learn the skills to become better organizers and make even greater change in their communities.
Want to meet a few of our round three winners? Drum roll please...
Shannyn Moore of Anchorage, Alaska says that participation in the blogosphere is important because "When you live in a place as rural as Alaska, you find out more people will read some of your posts online than LIVE in your state. It's all about contact."
Joey Novick of Flemington, New Jersey says that he deserves a Netroots Scholarship – and I agree—because "In a 'tongue-in-cheek way', I've been inspired by the work of Dian Fossy and her living with the gorillas of Rwanda––to learn how they eat, sleep, socialize and mate with each other. To that effect, I have gone to many right-wing conferences to walk amongst them to learn how they think, communicate, and develop their political philosophy. Thank God I have never had to watch them to mate..."
Edward Resnikoff of Brooklyn, New York has gotten other less politically inclined people involved in the following way; "In 2006, I was a communications intern on the Ned Lamont for Senate campaign, and I recruited about a dozen friends from my high school to volunteer on election day. I've also tried to get my friends more politically engaged through my blog. At NYU Local, I recruited several people to write about national politics, including incoming EIC Charlie Eisenhood, and wrote around 220 posts aimed at explaining what was really going on in modern politics to the intelligent but not terribly politically engaged college student."
These are only a few DFA winners—you should check out the rest of the round three scholarship winners here.
After you've looked through this year's winners, I hope you'll help keep this program going -- and growing. Netroots Nation is YOUR program. Without you, none of these fantastic people would’ve received scholarships. The program has grown so much and with your help, it will only continue to get bigger and better. Contribute now to keep the program going.
National Council of La Raza and America's Voice contacted Netroots and DFA on expanding the program and because of their generosity, we are proud to announce that we are now able to send an additional 20 scholars who work on immigration issues. Here is what a few of the NCLR and AV scholars had to say.
Meet Tony Herrera of Los Angeles, CA. He's sponsored by DFA and NCLR and gave us the following bio in his Netroots Scholarship Application:
"I was a Vocational Counselor in the California Workers Compensation field for 20+ years and worked primarily with immigrants and undocumented workers providing vocational counseling. I'm currently the Director for Community Engagement at fundacionjalisco.org a non-profit group of HTA's (Hometown Associations) whom I help organize, maintain their web properties and train personnel on the use of social media and collaborative tools... Aside from my work with the HTA's, I occasionally blog and Tweet. I consider myself a soldier well equipped to use social media and the internet to further a pro-migrant rights movement."
Here's a quick snippet of what Adriana Maestas of Irvine, CA had to say about why she first got involved:
"I was first inspired to get involved politically as a young girl witnessing the hypocrisy of the Reagan administration. I was prompted to write the president when I was about 9 or 10 to complain about the priorities of the federal budget. As for online action, I was inspired by the events of the '04 campaign, signing online petitions, etc, and then finally taking the plunge as a blogger in the summer of 2007, starting my own blog, LatinoPoliticsBlog.com."
Congratulations to all of our winners-- I can't wait to see you in Las Vegas!
P.S.- Check out where all of our scholarship winners are coming from!