Two Seafarers and five SIU dependents recently received good news in the form of scholarship awards from the Seafarers Health and Benefits Plan (SHBP).
The SHBP Scholarship Committee (consisting of active and retired educators from various colleges and universities from across the country) in late May selected the following individuals for Charlie Logan Scholarships: Chief Steward Ingrid Ortiz-Rosario, QMED Edward Williams, and dependents Brianna Alvarado, Michael Eaton Jr., Sarah Elazzouzi, Matthew McKenna and Nana Osei-Sarfo. Ortiz-Rosario and Williams each received two-year grants totaling $6,000 apiece, while the dependents each got four year, $20,000 awards.
Brief profiles of the scholarship winners follow.
SIU Connection: Chief steward who joined the union in 2013.
Notable: Already a college graduate, owned her own business for many years before getting the urge to go to sea…. Puerto Rico native who still lives in San Juan.
Academic Items: Plans to major in accounting/ finance and has applied to several schools. Quotable: “I have been fortunate to travel the world because of the SIU, supporting our government aboard U.S. military-contracted ships and, most importantly, I have supported the island where I grew up by working on Jones Act ships carrying much-needed supplies to Puerto Rico.”
SIU Connection: QMED
Notable: Has sailed as pumpman and electrician. Lives in Lithonia, Georgia.
Academic Items: Graduated from Joppatowne High School in Maryland, attended ITT Technical Institute. Applying to San Jacinto College, Mid Atlantic Maritime
Quotable: “Prior to joining the SIU, I was employed by a manufacturing company for nearly five years. It became apparent that layoffs were imminent. When we were laid off, a coworker suggested that I apply for the apprentice program at Piney Point. I invested all my time and effort into the training that was offered…. I would like to continue my education and sail as a third engineer.”
SIU Connection: Stepdaughter of inland member Fernando Pacheco, a mate with G&H Towing. Notable: Graduated from Deer Park High School in Texas with a 4.19 GPA. Work experience includes being a private- lesson instructor for violin students, and providing childcare at Parkgate Community Church.
Academic Items: Already accepted at Stephen F. Austin State University, her first choice. Plans to major in music. Taking classes ahead of time at a community college.
Quotable: “I’ve ultimately learned to be a better leader for myself and others. I’ve become passionate about inspiring others in the same way I’ve been inspired by music. My future as a music educator is bright for my future students, colleagues, and those who wish to be inspired. To teach is to touch a life forever.”
Michael Eaton Jr.
SIU Connection: Son of Tankerman Michael Eaton.
Notable: Family is from Peru. Has worked as a math tutor. Played football, chess club, cooking club, political debate team, NHS.
Academic Items: Already accepted at Central Florida. Plans to be a software engineer. Graduated from Merritt Island (Florida) Christian School with a 3.82 GPA.
Quotable: “My most valuable experience is when I volunteered many hours at the Veteran Memorial Park and Saint Vincent de Paul. The times I spent there assisting others helped me understand how much I like to help people. I plan to develop software that can assist people.”
SIU Connection: Married to QMED Mohammed Elazzouzi.
Notable: Works as a patient care technician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
Academic Items: Applied to Touro College for nursing science. Has already earned a number of college credits elsewhere.
Quotable: “I love helping people and I’m proud to be part of the first responders during the pandemic. My goal is to become a certified registered nurse anesthesiologist. I plan to start my career as a registered nurse in the ICU, as it will allow me to learn about critical care and to work with the most advanced technology.”
SIU Connection: Son of inland AB Timothy McKenna
Notable: Cleveland resident who plans to be a lawyer. Active in community service.
Academic Items: Graduated from St. Ignatius High with a 4.33 GPA. Has applied to Notre Dame, Loyola College, and College of the Holy Cross.
Quotable: “The thing at St. Ignatius that really made all of my passions fit together was community service…. I want to use my talents to fight for judicial representation for those who took a wrong turn. I will always remember that man-made systems are not perfect.”
SIU Connection: Stepdaughter of Bosun Michael Kanga.
Notable: Born in Ghana and later became a naturalized U.S. citizen. Lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Academic Items: Graduated from James Hubert Blake High School in Maryland with a 4.0 GPA. Has applied to High Point University, Morgan State, and Robert Morris. Plans to major in actuarial science.
Quotable: “In 2015, my mother married and joined my stepfather here in the United States, and I relocated two years later. I quickly adjusted and acclimatized myself to the more complicated education system in the U.S. while maintaining straight-A grades…. I am an active member of the Minority Scholars Program, the Leo Club (which undertakes volunteer opportunities to inspire positive change in our local community), and the Black Student Union. I am honored to be a mentor, serving on the Briggs Chaney Middle School committee as well.”