By: Jackson State University
(JACKSON, Miss.) – Michael A. White, Jr. is a recipient of the $10,000 BeyGOOD Foundation Scholarship, founded by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. White, an award-winning journalist and graduate student at Jackson State University (JSU), was named a BeyGOOD scholar upon exhibiting outstanding potential, mentorship, a strong desire to impact society positively, and portraying academic excellence.
BeyGOOD was established in 2013 and focuses on economic equity by supporting marginalized and under-resourced programs, committed to serving people through educational scholarships, the advocacy of internships, and access to resources for advancing entrepreneurship and small business sustainability across the country and abroad.
“It’s a rewarding experience because it lets me know that the labor is not in vain. Winning this award as an HBCU student brings it home because all of the hard work I’ve put in is being recognized,” said White, who obtained his bachelor of science in mass communications from JSU.
White is a businessman and director of operations for the Gray Media Training Center at WLBT in Jackson, Mississippi. With an emphasis on HBCUs and Mississippi colleges and universities, the media training center grooms up-and-coming media professionals by offering professional development opportunities, enhancing their overall professional tools, and providing access to jobs in their respective fields.
Students have joined the Gray Media Training Center from Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Tougaloo College, Hinds Community College in Utica, and Alcorn State University to learn skills in sales, creative services, engineering, marketing, news, and production for 15 weeks. The center was created by Gray Television in 2022.
“In order to create social impacts, you have to create and give people chances,” said White, who has managed four groups of students through the training center. Many have obtained awards and jobs in the field, including in cities that rank in the Top 20 of television markets.
“The way that I’m creating a social impact is not only by serving as a mentor but by seeing myself in the students. When I was trying to get my foot in the door, this program wasn’t here. It didn’t exist. So, a lot of the things that can happen in the media industry can be prevented if they know more about it ahead of time.”
In 2022, White earned the first and second place award for Best Newscast by the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters and the 2020-2023 Awesome Award from Gray Television.
White is an active member of many organizations, including the 100 Black Men of America, the 100 Black Men of Jackson, the NAACP, Mississippi Association of Broadcasters, National Association of Broadcasters, JSU National Alumni Association, Jackson Association of Black Journalists, and the National Association of Black Journalists. He was recently named a Top 40 Under 40 Business Leader by the Mississippi Business Journal and featured in the June 2023 magazine.