Eight individuals—three active Seafarers and five dependents—now are better financially prepared to pursue their respective higher education goals thanks to grants totaling $132,000 that have been bestowed upon them by the Seafarers Health and Benefits Plan (SHBP).
Members of the SHBP Scholarship Committee, who convened in Carmel, Calif., May 11, selected Seafarers Daniel Giles, Curtrina Duck and Jesse Tornabene along with dependents Kathryn Flanagan, Julio Marcone, Patricia Madrio, Abigail Tesfaye and Heidi Garner as recipients of the Calendar Year 2012 Charlie Logan Scholarships.
Giles was designated to receive a $20,000 grant to cover the costs associated with a four-year degree while Duck and Tornabene each were selected to garner $6,000 to pursue their respective educational goals in programs offering two-year courses of study.
Each of the dependents landed scholarships of $20,000 to help realize their respective aspirations at four-year colleges or universities.
AB Daniel Giles was born in Norfolk, Va., and is a 2000 graduate of First Colonial High School in Virginia Beach, Va.
Following high school, he held a variety of positions while working in restaurants and on organic farms. “In each of these distinctive lifestyles, something was missing,” Giles said. “Very rarely was I challenged mentally.
“Just as I would find intellectual stimulation it would be time to get back to work,” he continued. “I would share ideas from what I was reading about neuroscience, astronomy or physics with co-workers only to receive blank and bewildered stares.”
Brother Giles joined the SIU in 2007. He enrolled in and attended the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education in Piney Point, Md. It was there that he earned his merchant mariner credentials and began what has been a very promising career on the high seas. Most recently, he sailed aboard the USNS Invincible.
“As a teenager, I didn’t know what I wanted or why I should continue school to achieve it,” he said. “Now, however, I see that the world of academics is where I belong. The idea of spending years in libraries and laboratories, surrounded by other curious and hungry minds seems so right that it’s hard to believe it took me this long to realize it.”
Brother Giles will pursue his degree in the sciences, most likely biology or chemistry with a minor in mathematics. He hopes to attend Portland State University, Oregon State University or Concordia University.
AB Curtrina Duck joined the SIU in 2008 and like Brother Giles received her merchant mariner training at the Paul Hall Center. She has upgraded her skills on several occasions at the Southern Maryland-based school, most recently in 2010.
Born in Norfolk, she is a 2002 graduate of the city’s Booker T. Washington High School. Following graduation, she worked as a customer service representative in a call center and later as a medical biller and coder.
Her SIU career to date has included voyages aboard deep sea vessels. Sister Duck most recently sailed aboard the Pomeroy, operated by Ocean Shipholdings
“My goal is to become a registered nurse,” the able bodied seaman said. Although she has not yet decided the specific nursing specialty she will pursue, she is anxious to assist others.
“I am looking forward to helping and caring for people of all ages, races, sizes and genders,” she said. “I think the body is a unique form and it hurts my heart to see people who are hopelessly suffering with poor health conditions. I am an upbeat person and I think that I could do well with making a person smile, while at the same time caring for their needs.”
Sister Duck enrolled in and was admitted to Tidewater Community College in 2011 and still attends that school today. She is studying nursing and resides in Chesapeake, Va.
QMED Jesse Tornabene donned the union colors in 2004 in Piney Point and like the former SIU scholarship recipients underwent his merchant mariner training there. A frequent upgrader, Brother Tornabene most recently returned to the school earlier this year.
A native of New Orleans, Brother Tornabene graduated from Northshore High School in 2002. Following high school he took on work as a pump station attendant in Jefferson Parish, La. Two years later he joined the union. He currently works aboard the SBX-1.
“My pursuit for a higher education began when I arrived in Piney Point, Maryland, to attend the apprenticeship program at the Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship,” Brother Tornabene said. “The trainee program revealed to me how much I didn’t know and the fundamentals I lacked. Continuing my education has remained a priority since I arrived at the Paul Hall Center seven years ago.”
Brother Tornabene has applied for admission to Delgado Community College in New Orleans as well as at California National University for Advanced Studies. He is currently enrolled at the University of Phoenix. To date, he has earned nine credits and is pursuing his degree in engineering and business administration.
Kathryn Flanagan hails from New Milford, Conn. She is the daughter of Recertified Bosun Thomas Flanagan (and mother, Betty Ann,) and has two siblings.
Flanagan is a 2012 graduate of New Milford High School where she held membership in both the National Honor Society and French Honor Society. She also was a member of her school’s marching band and graduated in the top five percent of her class. Flanagan has done volunteer work in her community with food banks and soup kitchens.
“Since childhood, I have always been fascinated by life and all it represents,” she said. Over the years, she continued, her keen interest in the human experience has developed into a definite passion: educational biology.
“As I moved through high school, my future plans became very clear, and I have tried to excel and go the extra mile while exploring a life in science,” she continued. This extra dedication has translated into fresh perspectives not only about life in general but also about individuals who play significant roles in the life experiences of others.
Flanagan plans to major in educational biology at the University of Connecticut, Colby-Sawyer College or SUNY Stony Brook.
Julio Marcone is the son of Steward/Baker Julio Marcone (and mother, Angelica) who sails aboard the Intrepid Ship Management operated Courage. He has two siblings.
Born in Florida, Marcone is a 2012 graduate of Fort Lauderdale High School where he finished his upper secondary educational experience with a 4.48 grade point average. He ranked 26th in his class of 381 and held membership in the National Honor Society.
Additionally, Marcone was a member of his school’s marching band and debating team.
“I like to think that I have an accurate bearing on my own skills and a well-thought out, if broad idea, of what I want to study,” Marcone said. “My recurring interests are political science and some path to medical school.”
He also has considered studying biology or chemistry as a first step into a medical career. Marcone hopes to pursue his studies at Boston University, Amherst College, Tulane University or the University of Florida.
Patricia Madrio is a 2012 graduate of New Milford High School in New Milford, Conn.
The daughter of ABG Roy Madrio (and mother, Mary, a registered nurse), she has two brothers. Madrio graduated with 4.13 GPA ranking 20th in her class of 352 students. She was a member of the National Honor Society, Kiwanis Club and Rotary Club. Madrio served as secretary for both NHS and Rotary Clubs.
“I plan on majoring in nursing….,” she said. “As proven by my mother’s stable work conditions, nursing will provide a stepping stone to a variety of careers.
“Nursing will provide a way for me to become, ultimately, a medical lawyer,” she continued. “With a nursing background, I will be able to apply my knowledge to the cases that I am presented with.”
She will pursue her nursing degree at Northeastern University, Pennsylvania State University or the University of Connecticut.
Abigail Tesfaye hails from Houston. She is the daughter of QEE Tesfaye Gebregziabher (and mother Ruth) and has one sibling.
A 2012 graduate of the High School for Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Tesfaye finished 35th in her class, which numbered 149 students. She was a member of the National Honor Society, Business Professionals of America and the Fusion Orchestra. Tesfaye also is active in her church as a youth group leader and worship leader.
In the area of community service, she has done volunteer work in retirement homes and served as a camp counselor. She works as a sales associate in a nationally acclaimed apparel company.
Tesfaye will pursue her bachelor’s degree in English at Concordia, Baylor University, Texas A&M or the University of Houston.
Heidi Garner hails from Knotts Island, N.C., and is the daughter of Capt. Edward Garner (and mother, Heather, a teacher’s assistant) and has one sibling.
Born in Virginia Beach, Va., Garner is a 2011 graduate of Currituck County High School in Barco, N.C. She posted a 4.43 GPA and ranked 14th in her class among 246 students. While at Currituck County High, Garner was a varsity cheerleader and held membership in the Disney Movie Club, the Companion Animal Club and the Beta Book Club. In addition, she served as a counselor–in-waiting during a Ferrum College (Virginia) Summer Enrichment Camp
Garner currently attends N.C. State University where she is majoring in elementary education. She has earned 15 credits while posting an overall 3.6 GPA.