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For Immediate Release

Monday, May 31, 2010

AFSCME Members, Family Members Awarded Union Plus Scholarships

Union Plus Provides $150,000 to Help Students from Union Families Achieve Their Dreams

Union Plus has awarded $150,000 in scholarships to 121 students representing 42 unions, including 17 winners representing AFSCME:

  • David Aceves of San Francisco, CA, who is a member of AFSCME Local 3299, has been awarded a $750 scholarship.
  • Rudi Bredemeier of Urbana, IL, whose mother Hyon Kim is a member of AFSCME Local 698, has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship.
  • Aaron Cantor of Coatesville, PA, whose father Geoffrey Cantor is a member of AFSCME Local 2455, has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship. Aaron is a two-time Union Plus Scholarship winner, having also been honored in 2009.
  • Kimberly Carson of Aberdeen, WA, who is a member of AFSCME Local 275, has been awarded a $500 scholarship.
  • Shirlana Dash of Philadelphia, PA, who is a member of AFSCME Local 2187, has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship. Shirlana is a two-time Union Plus Scholarship winner, having also been honored in 2009.
  • Julianne Freeman of Goshen, NY, whose mother Carolyn Freeman is a member of Local 836 of CSEA/AFSCME Local 1000, has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship.
  • Justin Friedman of North Providence, RI, whose mother Gina Friedman is a member of AFSCME Local 2881, has been awarded a $2,000 scholarship.
  • Jack Giannini of the Bronx, NY, whose father Jack Giannini is a member of AFSCME Local 1320, has been awarded a $500 scholarship.
  • Jacob Gregory of Heppner, OR, whose father Alan Gregory is a member of AFSCME Local 2479, has been awarded a $500 scholarship.
  • Jarod Gunning of Davenport, WA, whose mother Tracy Gunning is a member of AFSCME Local 1254-CH, has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship.
  • Neal Lacy of Wasilla, AK, who is a member of Alaska State Employees Association/AFSCME Local 52, has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship.
  • Joshua Lobel of Woodbury, NY, whose mother Shari Lobel is a member of Local 830 of CSEA/AFSCME Local 1000, has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship.
  • Patricia Miller of Stoystown, PA, who is a member of AFSCME Local 3864, has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship.
  • David Oluwo of Riverdale, MD, whose mother Juliana Oluwo is a member of AFSCME Local 3829, has been awarded a $500 scholarship.
  • Lindsay Schare of Jericho, NY, whose mother Terry Schare is a member of Local 865 of CSEA/AFSCME Local 1000, has been awarded a $1,500 scholarship.
  • Nischay Shah of Bayport, NY, whose mother Nayana Shah is a member of Local 614 of CSEA/AFSCME Local 1000, has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship.
  • Sheena Tsai of Whitestone, NY, whose mother Fen-Mei Tsai is a member of AFSCME Local 1321, has been awarded a $500 scholarship.

Challenging Process

The students selected for awards represent a wide sampling of demographics, union affiliations, goals and accomplishments. Representatives from the American Association of Community Colleges, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the United Negro College Fund judged the applications.

According to the judges, the caliber of students this year made the selection process very challenging. The students are from diverse backgrounds, and as a whole, they received top SAT scores, were well-rounded in their studies and extracurricular activities, and they understood the value of working families and union membership.

How the Scholarship Program Works

In addition to demonstrated academic ability, applicants submitted essays of no more than 500 words describing their career goals, detailing their relationship with the labor movement, and explaining why they are deserving of a union scholarship.

The program is open to union members, their spouses and dependent children of unions that are participating in any Union Plus program. Individuals must be accepted into an accredited college or university, community college or recognized technical or trade school at the time the award is issued. Members do not have to purchase any Union Plus program product or participate in any Union Plus program to apply.

The Union Plus Scholarship Program is offered through the Union Plus Education Foundation. Please visit the Union Plus Scholarship page for information on eligibility and to apply for next year’s scholarships.

Union Plus

Union Plus offers many of the AFSCME Advantage benefits, which help union members and their families save money. Union Privilege also provides the Union Safe benefits, which assist union members during difficult times. One of the newest benefits is the College Savings Grant, which helps to spur savings for a bright future by adding to participating members’ contributions.

Other programs include mortgage and finance benefits, safety net and insurance benefits and even money-saving offers on Goodyear tires, entertainment and AT&T service. AFSCME members can visit the AFSCME Advantage section of AFSCME.org to find out about the AFSCME Advantage benefits.