SHBP Awards Scholarships

 

July 2013

 

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Three Seafarers and five dependents now are better equipped to pursue their respective higher education objectives thanks to grants totaling $132,000 that were given to them by the Seafarers Health and Benefits Plan (SHBP).

 

The SHBP Scholarship Committee, which convened May 10 in Chicago, selected Seafarers Annie Nodd, Timothy White and Harry Borden along with dependents Joederick Lata, Catherine Vu, Genebelle Ajoste, Daniel Mulcahy and Maja Sawicka as recipients of the 2013 Charlie Logan Scholarships. Nodd was tagged to receive a $20,000 grant to offset the financial challenges of a four-year degree, while White and Borden each were designated to garner $6,000 for use toward two-year degrees. All five dependents landed endowments of $20,000 to assist in realizing their educational aspirations at four-year colleges or universities.

 

Annie Nodd

 

SA Annie Nodd hails from Mobile, Ala. A 1996 graduate of Blount High School in Prichard, Ala., Sister Nodd signed on with the SIU in 1998 after completing the unlicensed apprentice program the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education (PHC) in Piney Point, Md.

 

She sails in the deep sea division and has upgraded her skills on at least eight occasions at the PHC, most recently in 2012. “Although I enjoyed sailing around the world (during her voyages aboard union–crewed vessels), I always dreamed of going to college,” Nodd said in her scholarship application package. “I tried to pursue that dream from 2000 to 2001 by attending Bishop State College in Mobile, Ala., and majoring in business administration.”

 

Because of her shipping schedule, however, Nodd was able to complete only one semester of work at Bishop. As a result, she pushed her dream of higher education aside and devoted her total energies toward her career at sea.

 

“Since recently upgrading at the PHC, my desire to further my education again has become a major priority,” she said. “I would like to pursue a degree in business administration with a minor as a registered nutritionist.”

 

Sister Nodd hopes to continue her education at Bishop State Community College or Faulkner University.

 

Timothy White

 

AB Timothy White signed on with the union in 2007 in the port of Norfolk. He currently sails in the deep sea division aboard Maersk Line, Limited’s Maersk Virginia.

 

Born in Portsmouth, Va., Brother White’s secondary education background includes stints at Green Run High School and Kempsville High School. He earned his GED from the Virginia Beach, Va.- based Adult Learning Center.

 

After obtaining his GED, Brother White initially was employed by Tickmaster. He then moved on to a painter position at the Norfolk Shipbuilding and Drydock Corporation.

 

White initially sailed as a wiper during the dawn of his career as a Seafarer. “My dream was to become a QMED or an engineer,” White said in his scholarship application package. As time passed, however, his outlook changed and he decided that the deck department was a better fit for his interests. “Within the last two years, I successfully upgraded to able-bodied seaman,” he said.

 

White pointed out that although he never planned on becoming a merchant mariner, he has no regrets in his decisions. “My career as a merchant mariner has been exciting,” he said, adding that he has been able to explore the world and meet many people from a variety of cultures.

 

“Six years into my career as a Seafarer, I’m steadily moving up the union,” he continued. “I plan on becoming a bosun in a couple of years.” White added that he is a forward thinker and is constantly exploring avenues to enhance his career and further his education. He is on a mission to become the first in his family of three siblings to earn a college degree.

 

White praised the union for reaching out to the membership by making the opportunity to land a scholarship possible. If selected to receive one, White said, “I would take full advantage of the Seafarers Scholarship and conduct myself responsibly. I think that this is an amazing opportunity for people such as me to better ourselves and our careers.”

 

Brother White’s goal is to become a computer engineer. He has applied to Advanced Technology Institute, Tidewater Tech and Tidewater Community College.

 

Harry Borden

 

ABG Harry Borden joined the SIU in 2002 in the port of Ft. Lauderdale following his completion of training at the PHC. He sails in the deep sea division.

 

Born in New York, Brother Borden is a 1979 graduate of Suffern High School. While in high school, he was active in martial arts, track and field and bodybuilding. Brother Borden was lauded for his writing and artistic abilities during high school and spent a great deal of his free time assisting in theater productions in his home town.

 

Following his graduation, Brother Borden joined the U.S. Navy. After being honorably discharged, he worked in several firms in New York’s financial district. At one juncture, “I was attending a company-sponsored course to become a broker,” he said in his scholarship application package. “After the crash (stock market) of 1987, that ceased, but I found that I had a love for the workings of the financial markets.”

 

In the years that followed, Brother Borden continued on his quest to find his true niche. This pursuit took him to Miami where he served as manager for two South Beach restaurants. During his off-duty time, he worked with fashion photographers and sound production engineers to satisfy his appetite for creative pursuits and the arts.

 

Brother Borden has accumulated college credits at Rockland Community College, State University of New York and Miami Dade College. He will pursue his degree at Broward Community College, Florida Atlantic University, or one of several Florida-based art institutes.

 

Joederick Lata

 

Joederick Lata was born in Maui, Hawaii, and is the son of deep sea Chief Cook Joey Lata (and mother, Merill, a secretary). Lata has one brother and a sister.

 

He is a 2013 graduate of Auburn Riverside High School in Auburn, Wash., where he finished with an overall 3.976 grade point average. Lata was a member of the National Honor Society, held membership in his school’s Key and Student Leadership Clubs, and participated in track and field and gymnastics.

 

He held the offices as key club treasurer, junior class president and sophomore class secretary. Lata was exceedingly active his community and did volunteer work at the Auburn Food Bank, the Humane Society and at the Auburn Children’s Home.

 

His ambition is to protect and preserve the world’s environment. “For as long as I can remember, the need to take care of the world around me has been a top priority in my life,” he said in in his scholarship application package.

 

Lata moved from his native Hawaii to Washington when he was six years of age. “Coming straight from Hawaii and living in a brand new state was frightening to a young 6-year-old,” he said. “I found comfort in the outdoors…. I loved the feel of warm ocean water and the crispness of the Washington air. While the people in my life came and left, nature was always there.”

 

One day while brainstorming in one of his high school classes, Lata recalls calculating the amount of trash that would be produced in the world annually if a single classroom like his generated five pounds daily and his school comprised 100 classrooms. Based on the fact that the world’s population is about 7 billion people and a significant number of them attend school daily, he reasoned that the amount of trash produced annually would be astronomical. What really registered with him, however, were the questions: what happens to all of that trash, how it was disposed of and what impact did its disposal have on the environment?

 

“From then on, I made the decision not to go into the medical field like I planned, but instead to follow my passion to pursue a career in civil/environmental engineering,” he said. “I want to find ways to keep the world as pure as it can be. It’s a lofty dream, but one person can make a difference.”

 

Lata will pursue his degree in civil/environmental engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, at California Polytechnic State University or at Seattle University.

 

Catherine Vu

 

Catherine Vu is the daughter of FOWT Allen Newgen (and mother Tiffany, a hair stylist). Born in Guam, she has one sister.

 

Vu is a 2013 graduate of Garden Grove High School in Garden Grove, Calif. She posted an overall 4.02 grade point average and ranked 35th in her class of 617 students.

 

Vu was a member of the National Honor Society, was active in the California Scholarship Federation and held office in a number of school and civic organizations. In the athletic arena, she was a four-year member of Garden Grove’s volleyball squad. She also was a member of the track team during her sophomore and senior years.

 

Vu hopes to receive her degree in engineering or mathematics while studying at the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of California, San Diego; or the University of California, Berkeley.

 

Genebelle Ajoste

 

Genebelle Ajoste was born in the Republic of the Philippines and is the daughter of deep sea GUDE Eugene Ajoste (and mother, Belinda, a homemaker). She has three siblings: two brothers and one sister.

 

Ajoste is a 2013 graduate of Long Beach Polytechnic High School in Long Beach, Calif. She finished her upper secondary education experience with an overall 3.88 grade point average.

 

Besides being a standout student, Ajoste was highly involved in a number of school and community activities. She was active in the student senate where she helped generate financial assets for her graduating class. She also was a member of the American Red Cross Club on campus where she assisted in organizing events and participated in various fund raising endeavors. Additionally, Ajoste held membership in the California Scholarship Federation which generated capital that supported scholarships for seniors. Finally, she was energetic in both the PACE Program and the Invisible Children Club. The former program helped raise money for the school’s accelerated academy while the latter helped spread awareness of LRA (Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army) atrocities and child trafficking in Africa.

 

Because of her deep-seated desire to help people, Ajoste’s lifelong aspiration is to become a nurse. “From a very young age, I’ve always known what I wanted to be when I grow up: a nurse,” she said in her scholarship application package. “Nursing is the ideal career path for me because it is a field I have always been passionate about, a reliable source of income and my dream job.”

 

Once she becomes a nurse, Ajoste’s desire is to work in locations where underserved populations reside. “I grew up in a working class area,” she said. “I have seen firsthand what happens to people who are unable to receive the proper care they need and are entitled to. People in these cases or similar low-income areas could benefit from basic health and disease education. I would like to take full advantage of my education and use it to provide this necessary service to my community and those like it.”

 

Ajoste has been accepted for admission to the University of California Irvine, California State University Long Beach and San Diego State University. According to her application package, she has decided to earn her degree by completing the nursing program at California State University Long Beach.

 

Daniel Mulcahy

 

Daniel Mulcahy is 2012 graduate of Orange Park High School in Orange Park, Fla. He is the son of Great Lakes Recertified Bosun William Mulcahy (and mother, Maria, a chef).

 

Born in Michigan, Mulcahy ranked 18th in his high school class of 404 students. He posted an overall 4.192 grade point average and was very involved in student activities including his school’s drama club and Pre- Pharmacy Society. He spent many after-school hours assisting in fund raisers to support the Relay for Life Movement and fostering awareness for the same.

 

Mulcahy currently is a student at the University of Central Florida where he has accumulated 30 credits toward his degree. He is majoring in health sciences with a minor in Biology.

 

“My post-undergraduate school goals are to attend pharmacy school,” said Mulcahy, who is a brother in Delta Epsilon Mu, the nation’s lone coed professional pre-health fraternity. “I have plans to join the executive board (of Delta Epsilon Mu) … with hope to represent my fraternity by becoming its president one day,” he said.

 

“Throughout the years, my parents have supported my education and other endeavors,” he added. “My father has dedicated his life to providing me everything I need including a superior education. I hope that one day I am able to give back to my parents everything they’ve provided me.”

 

Maja Sawicka

 

Maja Sawicka is the daughter of inland GVA Jacek Sawicki (and mother Mariola, a physical therapist).

 

Born in New Bedford, Mass., Sawicka is a 2011 graduate of Clifton Park, N.Y.’s Shenendehowa High School. Following high school, she enrolled in a six-year program at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Albany, N.Y. She has completed three semesters of work and earned 56 credits. Ultimately, she hopes to secure her Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

 

“I decided to pursue a Doctor of Pharmacy degree when I was a junior in high school,” Sawicka said in her scholarship application package.

 

During the same period, Sawicka said her grandmother was battling for her life against cancer – a fight which she eventually lost. “The disease weakened my grandmother, but I also noticed that her medications seemed to be doing more harm than good.

 

“I didn’t understand why this was happening,” she continued. “After all, how could I? I had never exchanged more than a few words with my own pharmacist. What could I know about medications?”

 

It was at that point that Sawicka began searching for her own answers. Not long thereafter, doors began to open for her. She was accepted as an early assurance student at the institution she currently attends and she was well on her way to not only realizing her ambition, but also positioned to aggressively pursue plausible explanations if not answers to the questions that had haunted her since her grandmother’s demise.

 

At the time she submitted her application package for the SHBP scholarship, she had already began to make major strides toward achieving her goal. “At the beginning of this academic year, I became a resident assistant,” she said. “My job (resident assistant) has allowed me to organize and provide programs for my fellow students. It also has provided me with a unique leadership position among my peers.

 

“My school has also allowed me to mentor local underprivileged kids from a nearby inner city school,” Sawicka continued. “Helping these young scholars has been the most rewarding experience of my lifetime. It has showed me that helping others is what I really long to do.”

 

Following graduation, she looks forward to joining Doctors Without Borders. “This organization would allow me to bring medical aid and assistance to impoverished or conflict-stricken areas,” she concluded.

 

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