2019 Scholarship Program

State Federation Awards 30 Grants In 2019 Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship Program

Thirty students from across Texas have been awarded 2019 Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship Program grants, continuing a long state federation tradition of boosting the ability of union families in Texas to pay the costs of higher education.

The $1,500 one-time grants are paid directly to the college in the students’ names, following a localized selection process in which Central Labor Councils and Labor Assemblies go over applications, conduct interviews and administer a test on the basics of organized labor.

Five students among the 30 are repeat recipients under the Continuing Scholarship program.

“The Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship Program is unique in combining grants for education with an educational component that strongly connects applicants to the Texas labor movement,” Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy said. 

“None of this could fly without the hard work of local scholarship committees in CLCs and Labor Assemblies, the hard work of the Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship Committee and the generosity of donors to the Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship Fund. We thank all volunteers in and supporters of the Scholarship Program for recognizing the value of investing in the education of union family members.”

Levy said besides putting in outstanding efforts to judge the Texas AFL-CIO program, several Central Labor Councils and constituency groups have complemented the Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship with scholarship programs of their own. For example, Levy attended the Tarrant County CLC scholarship ceremony, which included grant recipients from both the Texas AFL-CIO and Tarrant County CLC program. The Gulf Coast ALF and Amarillo CLC have undertaken similar programs. Constituency groups, including the A. Philip Randolph Institute, also have scholarship programs.

“It’s a tribute to our movement that the frustration around having to choose among outstanding applicants can be relieved to some degree by local labor scholarships,” Levy said.  

To be eligible to apply, applicants or their parents/legal guardians must be a member of a union that is affiliated both with the Texas AFL-CIO and, unless no jurisdiction exists, a Central Labor Council or Labor Assembly. 

Criteria for the awards include academic achievement, extracurricular activities, financial need, the results of a scholarship-specific test on the basics of labor unions (with materials provided ahead of time), and interviews of the students by the local committees.   

The Continuing Scholarships, judged by the Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship Committee, place heavy emphasis on students’ volunteer and public service actions.

Levy thanked the Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship Committee for its service. This year’s committee members who considered applications include: Jeff Darby (AFGE), chair; Clara Caldwell (TSEU/CWA); Mayra Huerta (NOLSW); Ray McMurrey (AFT); Lee Medley (USW); Richard Salazar (AFSCME); and B.R. Williams (ILA).

The Scholarship Fund, which supports payment of the grants, is a 501(c)(3) organization, allowing donors to deduct contributions on federal income tax returns to the full extent of the law. 

Lists of this year’s donors and those memorialized or honored with contributions appear on this web page. A portion of proceeds from the Texas AFL-CIO/Walter Umphrey Golf Tournament go to the Fund as well.

Donors of one or more full scholarships this year include: AT&T, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, California Bio-Pharma Labor Management Association, CWA 6215, Joe & Dorothy Gunn (endowment); IUOE 450, PhRMA, Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 100, Plumbers Local 68 and the Texas State Council of Machinists.

Memorials and honorees for whom one or more full scholarships were donated include Sam Dawson, George Hooper and John Patrick (honoree).

The Texas AFL-CIO Education Department will mail scholarship packets for the 2020 program to Central Labor Councils in late October and will post information and applications on the Texas AFL-CIO web site, www.texasaflcio.org. Postmark deadline for high school seniors to apply will be Thursday, Jan. 31, 2020.

Donors to Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship Fund

July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019


Austin AFL-CIO Council

Bank of Labor

Becky Beaver

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois

California Bio-Pharma Labor Management Association

Carlton Carl

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists San Antonio Chapter

Coastal Bend Central Labor Council

Corpus Christi AFT

CWA 6132

CWA 6215

Jessica Fink

San Juan Garcia

Hubert Gill

Russell & Renee Graham

Heat & Frost Insulators Local 21

Heat & Frost Insulators Local 87

IBEW 716

Ironworkers Local 263

IUOE Local 450

Melissa Jones

James & Teresa Klein

Maggie Kramer

Cherry Kugle

Rick Levy

Robert McEntire

Katherine & John McGhee

Becky Moeller

Morgan Stanley

OPEIU Local 66

Vincent Panvini

John Patrick

PCI Nitrogen, LLC


Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 100

Plumbers Local 68

Leilah Powell

Javier Ramos

Sabine Area Central Labor Council

Sheet Metal Workers Local 54

Ed Sills

South Atlantic & Gulf Coast ILA
Dennis Speight

Emily Speight


Texas State Council of Machinists

United Steelworkers Local 13-1

Sue L. Vaughn

Rosa Walker

Janet & Mark Widoff

James & Kathleen Wilkinson

Memorials and Honorees – Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship Program

July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019


Richard Atkins

Jim Brookes

Joseph William Cash Jr.

Louis Davis

Sam Dawson

Venancio “Bene” Figueroa

Marjorie Furr

Johnnie Hartfield

Edwin Hill

Hervey Harrison Hiner Sr.

George Hooper

Kay Lee

Mike Littleton

Vincent Pascacio Martinez

Gertrude Mika

Bob Priest

Jeanne Ragsdale

Billy Robinson

Pauline Salinas

Ricardo Salinas

Renee Shepard

Steve Smith

Buck Sosa

Max Torres

Jeff Warden

Charissa Wells


Becky Moeller

John Patrick