The pandemic has created a financial hardship on many families, especially hard on college students. We are happy to announce that this year there were twice as many scholarships awarded to deserving union families! Ten (10) $500 and four (4) $1,000.
The 2021 Scholarship committee met recently to determined the winners of the Local 1067 Scholarships. There were many phenomenal applications submitted, making the selection process difficult. We are please to announce the following scholarship winners.
Congratulations to all the Winners!!!
$1,000 Award Winners
Child of member of Naila Hodzic, Westfield State University
My family has benefited immensely from being a union family. Being a part of union family has given my family and I benefits for day to day life by offering us health plans with union member discounts for dental, vision, hearing, and alternative medicine. I am currently a Junior in college, and the offer of free tuition is a support especially to someone like me who is a first generation college student. My family being a union family, gives my parents a voice on their job and in turn develops stronger communities because workers feel as if they are listened to and taken care of by union benefits. Unions and local communities have a symbiotic relationship and I know that first hand because my family comes from a country called Bosnia and Herzegovina where unions are scarce and are very weak and it reflects onto the communities. We were once refugees, and now we are American citizens and my parents are both union members who are raising two children and educating them. It was with union benefits that my family feel that they have a secure job and rights, and they feel empowered as opposed to when they did not. This in turn has allowed them to support my brother and I in so many ways from health benefits to making sure we are supported throughout our education. Now I am one year away from
finishing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and will become the first in my family to earn a college degree. Being a union family also means that we are active participants in our community by voting which further exemplifies our role in our community. Being a part of a union family has benefited my growth and community.
Granddaughter of Janet Cartwright, Bridgewater State University
Child of member of Wendy Knight, North Shore Community College, Salem State University
Alexander Tennent Jr.
Son of Janet Tennent, Salem State University
$500 Award Winners
Daughter of Daniel Cahill, Quinsigamond Community College
Daughter of Ann Marshall, Mount Wachusett Community College
When I was a little girl, I remember living in government housing. We struggled financially and could not afford much. My mother went to MWCC for business/accounting and graduated with
her associates degree. After graduation she was able to get a job at Mount Wachusett
Community College. This job is apart of the union and allowed her to make a steady salary. Not only did her new job allow her to financially care for her children but it gave her the freedom to focus on her family. Being in a union also brought a family oriented bound with other members.
The union also gives a sense of security and pay increases allowing for the family to afford the ever-increasing economic demands. Behind every union member is a representative supporting them in times of need. Speaking of myself, I am currently in nursing school. Once I graduate and take my licensure exam, I am planning on applying to UMass where there is a union for the nursing staff. I am overly excited to work for a hospital that has a union backing their nurses. When I need help, I know ill have a union backing me up to fight for what is fair. I am looking forward to building a “family” within the union and developing forever bonds.
Daughter of Vasco Cordeiro Jr, Bristol Community College
Daughter of Corissa Donaghy, Framingham State University
Son of James Gately, Massachusetts College of Art
Until this essay, I had not thought about what it means to have both my parents be a part of Unions, The conversation just never really came up, it is just a constant that I was not aware of. As of late I have come to understand what the unions do for my family and the role that it has played in my life thus far. The best example I can think of has been the impact of union support over the last year and a half through the Pandemic. The unions that my parents are a part of fought to keep them employed and safe while many others around the country were laid off. Through their Unions, they were able to still provide for our family and not only survive the pandemic but do well for ourselves. The Unions have helped my family tremendously in the last 2 years and will continue to do so well past this pandemic. I know that the union is currently fighting to help my father have a better retirement option and more coverage if he is injured in the line of duty. Those benefits mean a lot to a family. Thank you for your consideration for this Scholarship.
Daughter of Ann Marshall, Mount Wachusett Community College
Child of member of Cathleen Mello, Bristol Community College
Child of member of Ruth Ortiz, Worcester State University
Grandson of Janet Cartwright, Bridgewater State University
Henry Rosa Son of Wanda I. Marquez, Salem State University
The AFSCME has meant something truly great in my family. It has been beneficial, not complicated, resourceful and just overall kept us all in a peaceful mindset. My mother has been part of the union for quite a while now and she trust it in its entirety. The union’s impact on our family is quite a big one, the amount of opportunity it gives us has really been a help to us.
I am going to describe few situations of why my family is so grateful of the AFSCME. My mother started working in Salem State University, she did not have health insurance for long time. As soon as she found out she will have health insurance working with the university, her whole life changed for the better. She got health and dental insurance at a very good price, which is a privilege many people would love. The help from the union gave my mother access to medical specialists. Since them she has been able to go to the same doctors’ offices without the fear of having to switch due to lack of found the way to pay the bills. She was also covered by insurance when she had me as well. The union also helped me by proving the insurance I needed to get my braces.
My family was for long time a very low-income family. When my mother was able to be part of the union her pay rate increase over the years and my parents were able to pay all the bills and have a better life. My parents feel, relax, secure and comfortable because my mother is part of a union that have been there for her. My mother needed to improve her computer skills and the English Language. Thanks to the union tuition benefits she took few courses at NECC.
My mom suffered a lot when my grandfather and grandmother were sick, she was very worried about missing work. She took some time off to take care my grandparents. Some other benefits of being part of the AFCSME union is that offer vacation, holidays, sick days, and retirement opportunities. Every time my parents plan our vacation, we are so excited that my mother job offered vacation time that she can take any time and over the year the number of hours increases. My father and I have a peace of mind knowing that mom has a retirement plan.
In conclusion, I wish all the workers around USA and the world could have a union that will work for them. I feel good now that I know more about this union for my future and the future of my family. Thank you!