New scholarship for the Women’s Leadership Academy, courtesy of a proud alumnus – Poynter
There is the spirit of giving. And then there is the Politics to give.
Emma Carew Grovum, founder of Kimbap Media and the most recent scholarship fund provider for Poynter’s Leadership Academy for Women in Media, provides a compelling example of the latter.
“I took a high school journalism program called ThreeSixty. I have met key players in the Twin Cities media market who have helped me throughout my career, ”said Carew Grovum. “At the beginning, it was my policy to give back to this program. Every time I had an A1 I would send them $ 25. Every time I had a new job I would send them $ 100. I believe in mission and I believe in supporting programs that have helped me.
Another program that Carew Grovum credits for propelling her media career was Poynter’s Leadership Academy for Women in Media. She was one of 28 women selected for the March 2018 program after a record year of applications: more than 600 people applied, prompting Poynter to increase the number of annual academies from one to three. A year later, Carew Grovum returned as a faculty member to teach newsroom culture navigation.
Now, ahead of the 2022 Women’s Leadership Academies, Carew Grovum is including the program in her corporate giving. It funds three full scholarships for participants of color from news and media organizations outside of the United States.
I caught up with Carew Grovum to talk about what inspired her to pave the way for more alumni-funded scholarships, how the program enabled her to start her own consulting and coaching business, and what she hopes to pass for the fellows. Below is our conversation, edited for length and clarity.
Mel Grau: You have already given so much to Poynter’s Leadership Academy for Women in Media. You returned as an instructor, reviewed applications, promoted the program on social media, contributed to the cohort newsletter, and mentored on digitalwomenleaders.com. What prompted you to donate money for a scholarship?
Emma Carew Grovum: I am in the third year of running my business and I am making a lot of money. I’m confident in what I’m doing now and attribute a lot of that to my cohorts… both as a participant and as a faculty member. And I would never want someone who couldn’t have that experience because their employer wouldn’t pay them or because they’re like me and they’re an entrepreneur. Or because they live abroad. These seem to be really stupid barriers! If I can break them down, that’s what I want to use my money for.
Mel: Why now?
Emma: For the Poynter program, the cost was not a barrier for me because my company paid for it. But I was very lucky. It was before the pandemic. I can see that the first thing that goes (in the budget cuts) is the professional development funds for people. But for a news agency to say “we can’t spare $ 1,000 to invest in someone who we think is the future of our news organization” just doesn’t suit me.
Mel: Why is the scholarship designated for international applicants?
Emma: When I heard that there was a need to fund international people, it blew me away. I think we often think that the international media is better funded than the American media, especially in Europe. But the truth is, there are journalists all over the world who don’t have access to the kind of training that we have here in the United States. And I can’t imagine my cohort, or the cohort that I trained, without the international participants. This need really resonated with me and I felt like I was able to do something.
Mel: What are some of the things you learned during the Women’s Leadership Academy experience that helped you successfully get started as a coach and consultant?
Emma: In the past, I didn’t like my voice very much because other people told me that it was of no value. I thought my ideas weren’t worth sharing because other people told me that I wasn’t old enough, that I didn’t have enough experience. Going through the cohort program and meeting my Poynter sisters has taught me that I am more capable than I realize.
The cohort was also there for me when I was down. I lost my job and my cohort sisters sent me flowers. I lost my job and Katie (Hawkins-Gaar, academy co-founder) said, “Come and be part of the faculty. “
The opportunity to be a participant – I learned a lot about myself. The opportunity to become a faculty member – I learned that I am good at coaching!
Now what I see is that my skills are really geared towards helping people, and helping people is what I always wanted to do. I thought I was going to help people by telling stories from their communities. But I think as I moved through this stage in my life, I discovered that my super power helps others reach their full potential as a journalist, especially women, and especially journalists of color.
Mel: It’s pretty amazing to hear you talk about your Poynter sisters.
Emma: Well done to my cohort! One year we raised $ 1,000 together as a group and it was the first time that I realized that we had to continue to support the program. Tuition fees can be a barrier and we as alumni can help remove those barriers for future Poynter sisters. It was just the natural way for me to move this work forward.
Mel: What do you hope the experiences will be for the people who get these scholarships?
Emma: I just hope it’s magic. I have no expectations of what they are going to accomplish or what they are going to accomplish, but I know it will be awesome. I’m really excited for whoever these people turn out to be. I hope they get the most out of it and I hope they come away as changed as me.
Mel: In the last week before recruitment for the 2022 program ends, what advice would you give to applicants or potential applicants?
Emma: To apply! Let someone else tell you no, but don’t tell yourself no. Never say no to yourself. Never self-eliminate yourself.
What I often tell people is to focus on impact. What are the challenges that await you today? And how could you better break them down by following this program? What tools are missing from your toolbox?
Sometimes the answer is, “I just need that kick in the ass to get me going.” “” I need to see myself in a different light. “I need to understand my skills and the value of my skills in the open market. Gaining peers across the cohort and understanding their circumstances versus yours, their experiences versus yours, helps you validate what works and doesn’t work for you.
The deadline to apply for the 2022 Poynter Leadership Academies for Women in Media is Tuesday, November 30, 2021. Learn more here.