Laura Paulina Vega, daughter of Cook/ Baker Robin Palmer and Retired Electrician David Vega, recently completed her education with the help of a Seafarers Health and Benefits Plan (SHBP) scholarship awarded to her in 2014. Vega recently sent a letter of thanks to SIU headquarters. “Many students do not get the opportunity to focus on their studies due to the financial burden that tuition, books, and transportation places on them,” she wrote. “It leads so many young people with potential to struggle and even leave their academic pursuits. I was so very fortunate to have this burden relieved when the Seafarers International Union provided me with the Charlie Logan Scholarship. I have been able to focus on my studies and nurture my academic potential.”
She continued, “It is my greatest pleasure to say that in May 2019 I graduated from Towson University, debt-free! I now have a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences, and I owe much of my success to the fact that I could focus on my schooling, not the hefty price of education.” Commenting on her future plans, Vega wrote: “Today, now that I am debt-free, I intend to go even further and pursue a doctoral degree in medicine. I have been continuing to work hard to continue my education and have been fortunate to shadow doctors and surgeons in the medical field to prepare myself for the rigors of medical school.”
She concluded, “I would like to thank the Seafarers International Union scholarship fund for helping me to reach this point in my life and giving me the financial boost I needed to actualize my academic dreams.”
The SHBP annually offers eight scholarships totaling $132,000 to Seafarers and their dependents who are looking to continue their education. Three are awarded to active Seafarers while five are given to dependents.
One of the scholarships for Seafarers totals $20,000 and is for a four-year course of study at an accredited college or university. The remaining two awards for Seafarers are for $6,000 each and intended for Seafarers interested in pursuing two-year courses of study at community colleges or vocational schools.
Each of the five scholarships for dependents is worth $20,000. These are awarded to dependents (spouses included) of active as well as retired Seafarers who are pursuing four-year courses of study at accredited colleges or universities.
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