Rodriguez wins 2024 Perry Photojournalism Challenge

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Rodriguez wins 2024 Perry Photojournalism Challenge

Three women stand around a grocery cart in a store, two holding food packages.
Courtesy | Roxana Rodriguez
Adriana Rodriguez and Maria Contreras shop for snacks for their trip to Colombia. “Sometimes there isn’t enough personnel for work,” Rodriguez said. “It’s easier for Latinx people to work in Latinx stores because an American isn’t going to understand the necessity of Latinos.”

Roxana Rodriguez, a junior advertising and public relations major from Wood River, Nebraska, won the top prize in the 2024 Philip Perry Photojournalism Challenge for her essay “402: Hispanic Businesses Growing the Nebraskan Economy and Culture.” Rodriguez will receive a $7,000 scholarship to complete her studies at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Second place was awarded to Jazlynn Sanders, a sophomore advertising and public relations and sports media and communication double major from Council Bluffs, Iowa, for her essay “Hair in the 402.” Sanders will receive a $2,000 scholarship.

Third place went to Leah Bryan, a sophomore journalism major from Lincoln, for her essay “Home is Found Here.” Bryan will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Three young women hold giant checks in an auditorium.
Courtesy | Shoun Hill
The winners of the 2024 Philip Perry Photojournalism Challenge were (from left) Leah Bryan, third place; Roxana Rodriguez, first place; and Jazlynn Sanders, second place.

Emma DeShon, a freshman broadcasting and sports media and communication double major from Lincoln, and Marissa Lindemann, a sophomore broadcasting major from Nevada, Iowa, received honorable mentions — DeShon for “Female Empowerment Through Generations” and Lindemann for “On Runner’s Feet.”


The annual competition is a test of determination and drive. This year, 20 students had 24 hours to shoot and compose a photo essay of up to 10 images around the theme “402 Through the Lens.” The competition kicked off at 1 p.m. Feb. 23. The students were encouraged to explore the theme and produce an essay at any location of their choosing. Submissions were due at 1 p.m. Feb. 24.

On March 2, essays were judged by five photojournalism professionals in two rounds. In the initial round, participants were narrowed to five finalists and invited to present their essays to the judges and the general public. Following the presentations, the judges conferred to select the winners.


This year’s judges were Mike Davis, visual storytelling consultant, editor, educator and author; Frank Franklin II, staff photographer with The Associated Press in New York; Victoria Petersen, freelance wedding and lifestyle photographer; Allen Schaben, staff photographer with The Los Angeles Times; and Alyssa Schukar, visual journalist, writer and educator.

The Perry Photojournalism Challenge is supported by Philip Perry, CEO of Perry Reid Properties.

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