Three Seafarers and five SIU dependents were awarded scholarships from the Seafarers Health and Benefits Plan (SHBP) this year, totaling $136,000.
The following Seafarers were selected to receive Charlie Logan Scholarships, as selected by the SHBP Scholarship Committee (consisting of active and retired educators from various colleges and universities from across the country): QMED Kabir Garcia Santiago, Chief Steward Sheneisha Thompson and QMED Justin Nicholson. In addition, the following dependents will also receive awards: Althea Rose Calixto, Fiona Forbes, Gabrielle Newgen, Hala Saleh and Kaylyn Zwernemann.
Santiago’s grant was for $20,000, while Thompson and Nicholson each received an award worth $6,000. Each of the dependent scholarships is worth $20,000. Brief profiles of the winners follow.
Kabir Garcia Santiago
SIU Connection: QMED who joined the union in 2008.
Notable: Puerto Rico native who lives in Carolina. Began working at age 10, and began sailing after college. Plans to become a Third Assistant Engineer in the near future.
Academic Items: Graduated from Universidad Del Sagrado Corazon in 2005. Applied to multiple maritime academies.
Quotable: “It’s difficult to condense 13 years of sailing…. I’m not only an asset because I have what could be considered a spotless professional record, but I have also never been fired from a job, have excellent social skills, an energetic drive, and am hungry for knowledge and always looking to go to the next level.”
SIU Connection: Chief steward who began sailing in 2014.
Notable: Currently raising her daughter while managing her Seafaring career and finishing her degree.
Academic Items: Is enrolled in Tidewater Community College, aiming to complete her Associates Degree in radiography.
Quotable: “I have a success plan which will help me to achieve and manage my degree. I am determined to prove that I am more than capable of what’s required to succeed. I stay focused on studying and turning in assignments ahead of time. I also love to make weekly plans for my studies and decide in advance my goal for the week, which helps me manage my time better.”
SIU Connection: QMED who has been sailing since 2015.
Notable: Worked as a manager in a ski resort, before learning of the Paul Hall Center apprentice program from an old friend from high school. Joined Class 790 at age 33.
Academic Items: Graduated from University of Hawaii in 2010, with a BA in communications. Plans to earn an engineer’s license.
Quotable: “As soon as I heard about the apprentice program, it became crystal clear to me how to get out of the 9-to-5 deathtrap I was in, because I saw I could change the rules. I no longer had to spend all of my time trying to please a company, when I could join a union.”
Althea Rose Calixto
SIU Connection: Daughter of QMED Larry Calixto.
Notable: Played tennis and participated in theater in high school. Worked at a tea house after high school, while enrolled in community college.
Academic Items: Currently enrolled in Cosumnes River College, a community college in Sacramento. She has applied to California State University Long Beach and Sacramento. Pursuing a degree in psychology.
Quotable: “I have always admired my dad’s dedication to his career, therefore inspiring me to pursue higher education. I plan to maintain good grades while being an undergraduate, allowing me to apply to graduate schools to advance my schooling and future job opportunities, with the intention of eventually giving back to my family.”
SIU Connection: Daughter of Tugboat Master Vincent Forbes.
Notable: Fluent in Japanese and English, written and illustrated two published books, National Honor Society member.
Academic Items: Current high school student, dual enrolled in college courses, applied to multiple four-year colleges. Plans to earn a fine arts degree.
Quotable: “I can remember sitting on my father’s lap, begging for ‘just one more story’ as I stare at the painting of him that hangs on the living room wall, trying desperately to see his face, hear his voice, feel his warmth for ‘just a little longer’ before he has to set out for another length out at sea.”
SIU Connection: Daughter of QMED Allen Newgen.
Notable: Played volleyball, softball, and swam in high school. Multiple volunteer positions. Academic Items: Current honor roll high school student, applied to several colleges in California. Pursuing a degree in business administration or graphic design.
Quotable: “I want to create an enterprise that encourages all influential artists to produce a work of art that gives true meaning and has power within their own voice.”
SIU Connection: Daughter of SA Younis Hizam Faid Saleh.
Notable: Currently working as a medical assistant while enrolled in a nursing program. Academic Items: Currently enrolled at Henry Ford College. Has applied to multiple four-year schools, with a plan to obtain a nursing degree.
Quotable: “I want to contribute to the betterment of society as a whole. In the end, it’s not about me as much as it is about others. What can I do to make the world a better place? How can I, on my own, improve the lives of others?”
SIU Connection: Daughter of Tugboat Captain Michael Zwernemann.
Notable: Volunteered by planting trees and working in an animal shelter. Active member in five National Honor Societies.
Academic Items: Current high school student who has applied to multiple fouryear colleges in Texas. Plans to get a degree in finance.
Quotable: “My dad is probably the most sacrificial and hardworking man I know. When I was younger, I always hated the fact that my dad was away for what seemed like every big event working on a tugboat. But as I have grown older, I have gained an understanding that he did this so I could have every dream I have ever dreamed of, and I know now that it probably hurt him just as much as me to be away for some of those big moments.”