The Yarka Vendrinska Photojournalism Memorial Fund

Update February 2024

1970 - 2002

Yarka Vendrinska

This page has been built to describe a memorial fund we established for our daughter, Yarka Vendrinska, who passed away on July 23, 2002. Since she was a young girl, she always had a wonderful passion for photography. Over the years, her skill as a photojournalist was nurtured by the people she met and her overwhelming desire for the perfect technical aspects of her pictures. Concurrently, significant and powerful events which occurred to her personally during her life gave her a unique perspective and deep personal understanding of the life and souls of her subjects. I encourage you to take a moment to visit her website at You will quickly become aware that she had a strong connection with all people she photographed, and was able to capture their images in a way that shows a powerful insight to their lives.

 To attempt to continue the giving and "understanding of others" that Yarka provided us all through her pictures, we wanted to do something to show to those who need it that kindness and hope are definitely still alive. That is why we decided to endow a fund to offer assistance to those young photojournalists in need to pursue their dreams. In this way, Yarka is still part of the world that she loved, and her compassion for others will stay alive via her fund.

Therefore, we are proud to announce that on the anniversary of her birthday, on April 25th 2003, we established The Yarka Vendrinska Photojournalism Memorial Fund at The Chicago Community Trust. The purpose of the fund is to provide grants to not-for-profit organizations that support photojournalism and provide workshops, training and travel assistance to young photographers.

We invite anyone who feels they meet the charter of the fund, as described above, to email us at

If you would like to use a credit card to contribute directly to the fund, please click on this link here which will open up the donor page at The Chicago Community Trust, please put “The Yarka Vendrinska Photojournalism Memorial Fund” in the Fund Name box in the contact information section. When making a contribution using your credit card, you will immediately receive a confirmation receipt. All contributions to the fund are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

If you choose to donate in another fashion, please send us an email and we will ensure that your donation gets into the Fund. All contributions, regardless of size, are deeply appreciated. Our intent is to have the fund continue to grow as they years to by so that Yarka's spirit can continue to give to those in need as they pursue their professional dreams.

Yarka had visited the Maine Media Workshops ( ) and had a great experience there, so to continue in her spirit of giving, we established The Yarka Vendrinska Photojournalism Scholarship at the Maine Media Workshops in Rockport, MA. Since 2003, we have made over $20,000 in donations to the Maine Media Workshops in support of a photographer in need of financial assistance to help them realize their dream of attending a class at the Workshops.

Below is a list of the individuals who have been granted scholarships at The Maine Media Workshops to cover tuition costs:

July 23rd, 2003, to Robb Hill, Chicago, Illinois. We encourage you to visit Robb's website at

April 25th, 2004 to Aireen Joven, Chicago, Illinois.

April 25th, 2005, to Bryan Meltz, Atlanta, Georgia. We encourage you to visit Bryan's website at 

April 25th, 2006, to Amanda Abel, Austin, Texas.

April 25th, 2007 to Pat Semansky, New Orleans, Louisiana.

April 25th, 2008, to Juan Arredondo, Hoboken, New Jersey. 

April 25th, 2009, to Rachel Seed, from Louisville, KY.

April 25th, 2010, to Ian Thomas Jansen-Lonnquist, Burlington, Vermont.

April 25th, 2011, to Shaminder Dulai, San Jose, CA

April 25th, 2012 to Sarah Craig, Oakland, CA. We encourage you to visit Sarah’s website at

During the month of June in 2011, we held a memorial gallery show at the Maine Media Workshops Gallery in Rockport, Maine where photographs from both Yarka and some of the scholarship recipients from Yarka's Fund were also presented. The show was very well attended. We would especially like to thank Tim Whelan for being there with Tanya for the entire month, as well as the people from the Maine Media Workshops for their generosity and assistance in making the show a success.

This photo is one that Yarka took while participating at a class at the Maine Media Workshops and remains one of our favorites.

In the Spring of 2013, after an excellent 10 year relationship with the Maine Media Workshops, we decided to direct our support from the fund back to the Chicago area and through generous assistance from the Chicago Community Trust itself, identified Columbia College in Chicago to establish a Photography scholarship. With assistance from Michael Anderson, Associate Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Columbia College, we developed a program whereby a photography student at Columbia College will receive a renewable $2,500 scholarship every year from the Yarka Vendrinska Memorial Fund in honor of Yarka.

In the Fall of 2013, Samantha Belden, currently a sophomore at Columbia College was the first recipient of the scholarship.

May 2016: Maddie Rogers was selected to receive the Yarka Vendrinska Memorial Fund scholarship for the next 3 years. You can visit Maddie’s website at

September 2018, Emma Knapp, currently a sophomore at Columbia College became the third recipient of the 3 year gift from The Yarka Vendrinska Memorial Fund Scholarship at Columbia College. You can visit Emma’s website at

September 2021, Sofie Doran Rasmussen at Columbia College was awarded the 3 year gift from The Yarka Vendrinska Memorial Fund Scholarship. You can view samples of her work at Sofie Doran Rasmussen - Sofie Doran Rasmussen Photography (

How can you help?

We would also like to encourage you to follow the following link to a very important page which contains thumbnails of Yarka's work, Each of these pictures is available for purchase in a limited printing, and all proceeds from sales of these pictures go directly back into The Yarka Vendrinska Photojournalism Memorial Fund.

If you feel that this fund aligns with your gift giving desires or strategies, we, Yarka's family, would appreciate your donations to carry on this mission. Thanks again to all of the people who have contributed to the Fund so far, both in picture sales and in gift donations.

Mark and Tanya Bohr  2/12/2024