SIU Member Captures Union Plus Scholarship


August 2014


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AB Christopher Allen is among the recently announced winners of Union Plus scholarships.


Union Plus, formed by the AFL-CIO in 1986 to offer valuable consumer benefits to union members and their families, awarded $150,000 in scholarships to 116 students representing 39 unions for 2014. Allen’s grant is for $500.


The Jupiter, Fla., resident said he enjoys being at sea and appreciates everything the SIU has done to help his career.


“I was given an opportunity that some people would give anything to have,” said Allen, who most recently sailed aboard the BBC Seattle, operated by General Dynamics American Overseas Marine.


Notwithstanding his affinity for the maritime industry, Allen – a graduate of Paul Hall Center Apprentice Class 739 – said he wants to pursue a degree in emergency medical services. He hopes to eventually become a firefighter.


Meanwhile, Union Plus already is accepting applications for its 2015 scholarships. Information about that program (and others) is available online at education and on page 14 of this issue of the Seafarers LOG.


Leslie Tolf, president of Union Plus, noted, “There are a lot of benefits to being a union member. Economic security is number one, and education is the first building block…. By awarding these scholarships, we level the playing field. Everyone deserves an equal shot at a quality education.”


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 $3.6 million in educational funding to more than 2,400 union members, spouses and dependent children.


For SIU members and their families, other scholarship opportunities also are available. Each year, the Seafarers Health and Benefits Plan (SHBP) awards grants to members and dependents to help them pursue their respective educational goals. Typically, the SHBP awards are made to three Seafarers and five dependents for a total of $132,000. Information about how to apply for the 2015 SHBP scholarships will be published in future issues of the LOG and posted on the SIU website.

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