Washington, DC—Five children of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) members have been selected as winners of the 2007 Union Plus Scholarship awards. The IATSE winners are Jonathan G. Baldasare of Malverne, NY ($1,000), whose father is a member of Local 52; Florence D’Orazi of Woodland, CA ($2,000), whose mother is a member of Local 784; Catherine Q. O’Neill of Glendale, CA ($1,000), whose father is a member of Local 600; Sarah Pattison of East Northport, NY ($1,000), whose father is a member of Local 52; and Randi Scott of Philadelphia ($1,000), whose father is a member of Local 804.
These five winners are among 103 students from 45 unions awarded a total of $150,000 in scholarships from the Union Plus Scholarship program. The awards are being distributed to students who are from union families, or are union members themselves, attending two-year and four-year colleges as well as recognized technical or trade schools.
Winners were chosen from more than 5,500 applications received from 58 unions in all 50 states and many territories, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The scholarships are sponsored by the Union Plus Education Foundation, which receives funding from HSBC, the issuer of the Union Plus Credit Card. Since 1992, more than $2.4 million has been awarded through these prestigious scholarship awards.
“This program is a way to help union members and their families realize their dreams,” says Leslie Tolf, president of Union Privilege, the AFL-CIO-founded organization that administers the scholarship program. “With the rising cost of college tuition, we’re doing everything we can to help union families save money.”
Saving Money Every Day Helps Families Afford College Union Privilege offers an array of Union Plus benefits that save money for union members and their families. These include mortgage and finance benefits, education and insurance benefits and even money-saving offers on such items as computers, health services and vacations. Union members can visit www.UnionPlus.org to find out what benefits their unions offer.
According to AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, union benefits like these are needed more than ever. Real wages are falling and college costs continue to rise up to 10 percent each year, hitting working families the hardest.