The 2015 Constitutional Convention marks the 56th anniversary of the UWUA Scholarship Program. The National Union’s program has thus far acknowledged the outstanding academic achievements of more than 110 students. All of them are daughters and sons of UWUA members throughout the country. All together, they have received a total stipend value of more than $450,000 towards their advanced education.
Since the 2011 Constitutional Convention, the following students have been awarded scholarships under the UWUA Scholarship Program:
- Leo Antrassian is majoring in health professions at the University of Detroit Mercy. He is the son of Andrew Antrassian, a member of Local 223 in Michigan.
- Sarah Dickert is majoring in civil engineering at Bucknell University. She is the daughter of Edward Dickert, a member of Local 601 in New Jersey.
- Patrick Bendik is majoring in forensic science at Pennsylvania State University. He is the son of Edward Bendik, a member of Local 537 in Pennsylvania.
- Victoria Wasylak is majoring in communication at Boston University. She is the daughter of Stephen Wasylak Jr., a member of Local 369 in Massachusetts.
- Kristen Col is majoring in biology and biological sciences at the State University of New York-Binghamton. She is the daughter of Mark Andrew Col, a member of Local 1-2 in New York.
- Benjamin Fernandez is majoring in biology and biological sciences at City College of New York. He is the son of Williams Fernandez, a member of Local 1-2 in New York.
- Hailey Marcus plans to major in history and is exploring her school options. She is the daughter of Marcus Todd, a member of Local 1-2 in New York.
- Frank Tetto plans to major in chemical engineering and is exploring his school options. He is the son of Joseph Tetto, a member of Local 1-2 in New York.
The Scholarship Program maintains the legacy started by a group of delegates at the 10th Constitutional Convention in 1959. The delegates proposed that scholarships be reserved only for children of UWUA members in good standing, and only to those high school students graduating and starting college in the same year that award recipients are selected.
The UWUA awarded its first scholarships in 1961, under the auspices of the renowned National Merit Scholarship Corporation. NMSC specializes in testing, screening, and evaluating scholarship candidates. Since then, two annual recipients have been selected on a competitive basis, using criteria that includes overall academic performance and PSAT/NMSQT test scores administered during the junior year of high school. Finalists are notified in the spring of their senior year, and payment of the scholarship award is made directly to the student’s college/ university.
The UWUA’s Scholarship Program provides two four-year scholarships annually, with a $2,000 maximum and $500 minimum value per year for each of the four years for both recipients. NMSC determines the award value each year, based upon the financial situation of the recipient’s family and the university/college selected by the winner.
Since the annual award runs four consecutive years, eight scholarships are always active, which results in a yearly cost to the UWUA of between $10,000 and $12,000. In addition to administering the program, the NMSC provides the National Union with an annual report and evaluation of each student.