2019 Mary Garber/APSE scholarship winner Tess DeMeyer

By Norma Gonzalez

Right before her 21st birthday, Tess DeMeyer received a gift she wasn’t expecting: the Mary Garber/APSE scholarship.

And to think that it’s partly thanks to Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

During an October 2017 news conference, Newton laughed when a female reporter from the Charlotte Observer, Jourdan Rodrigue, asked him a question about routes.

The incident caused Newton to get ripped on Twitter, but also spurred female sports reporters to talk about similar incidents they’ve suffered.

The conversation inspired DeMeyer to find an organization that could provide guidance and advice. The Twitterverse led her to the Association for Women in Sports Media, and would ultimately lead her to the scholarship opportunity.

“A bunch of women came together on Twitter and were supporting together and were advocating for people to join the organization,” DeMeyer said. “I looked into it and I thought, ‘this looks incredible. This is a huge support system that I never knew existed.’ And there was so much guidance here and so much mentorship that I could definitely use.”

The Brown University junior will receive $1,000 along with a paid summer internship at USA Today. She is a sports reporter for The Brown Daily Herald and also writes for The Critical Review, which reviews courses at the university.

“I’m so grateful to be chosen,” DeMeyer. “I hope to represent both organizations well and I’m excited to learn as much as I can and gain awesome experience while being supported by so many incredible women and members.”