Winner Honored for Achievement and Union Values
Union Plus recently awarded $150,000 in scholarships to 106 students representing 36 unions, including one winner representing UNITE HERE, in the 2015 Union Plus Scholarship Program. In this 24th year of the program, more than 5,000 applications were received from union members, their spouses and their dependent children in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This year’s UNITE HERE winner is:
- Sameera Sheikh of Brooklyn, N.Y. Sameera, whose father, Maqsood Sheikh, is a member of UNITE HERE Local 6, has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship.
“The burden of student debt will be felt for decades to come,” Leslie Tolf, president of Union Privilege, the organization that provides Union Plus benefits for union families and manages the scholarship program, said. “Our scholarship winners understand this nightmare and have an uncanny ability to budget, hold down jobs and internships, and continue to excel in their studies. They are informed consumers, which is increasingly important in today’s world.”
Meet the 2015 UNITE HERE Honoree
Sameera is a 2015 high school graduate who aspires to become a lawyer. Sameera earned her high school’s Gateway Academic Honors Award all four years, posting the highest grade-point average in her class. She participated in the Pace University Upward Bound Center for Urban Education program three years, serving as college committee chair in 2013, and also took classes at the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health at SUNY Downstate Hospital. She was co-founder and president of Gateway Ambassadors, a student-government organization at her high school, and participated at city-wide volunteer events through ChangeMakers. The daughter of immigrant parents, and a first-generation college student, Sameera appreciates her father’s union membership as it allowed him to work reasonable hours and therefore play a more active role in her life. “The union really makes a difference for the working class,” she said.
Learn More About the Union Plus Scholarship Program
Union Plus Scholarship awards are granted to students attending a two-year college, four-year college, graduate school or a recognized technical or trade school. Since starting the program in 1991, Union Plus has awarded more than $3.7 million in educational funding to more than 2,500 union members, spouses and dependent children.
Union Plus is committed to helping union members and their families fund their college education. In addition to the scholarships, Union Plus also offers the following benefits to help union families afford higher education:
- Discounts of 15 to 60 percent on college and graduate school test preparation courses from The Princeton Review. Discounts are available for classroom, online and private tutoring for the SAT®, ACT®, GMAT®, LSAT®, GRE® and MCAT® as well as college affordability and admissions online courses. Visit UnionPlus.org/CollegePrep or call 1-888-243-7737.
- Discounts on textbooks. Union families save 5 percent or more when renting or buying textbooks. New, used and digital textbooks are available. Free shipping is included on orders over $59. Visit UnionPlus.org/Textbooks.
- College counseling discounts of 15 percent from Collegewise, the admission division of The Princeton Review. College counselors help high school students find, apply to and attend the right colleges. Visit UnionPlus.org/CollegeCounsel for more information.
Visit UnionPlus.org/Education for applications and benefit eligibility.
Union Plus also provides a wide range of money-saving benefits and services for union members and families, including discounts on all-union AT&T wireless service and mortgage with unique financial assistance, savings on travel and recreation, and more. To learn more, visit UnionPlus.org.
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*Certain restrictions, limitations, and qualifications apply to these grants. Additional information and eligibility criteria can be obtained at UnionPlus.org/Education. Grants are only available until all available funds have been awarded.