Texas AFL-CIO Raises Scholarship Award, Pays Out 29 Grants

Twenty-nine students from union families across the state have received 2018 Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship Program grants, giving them a head start toward paying for their college and university educations.

This year, the state labor federation raised the scholarship amount from $1,000, where it had stood for more than 25 years, to $1,500. The award is paid directly to the recipient’s college in the student’s name as a one-time grant.

Nearly 200 students applied for the award. To be eligible, a parent or legal guardian of the student (or the student himself or herself) must be a member of a labor union that is affiliated with both the Texas AFL-CIO and the applicable Central Labor Council.

Central Labor Councils and Labor Assemblies across the state appoint Scholarship Committees to consider local applicants. The names of semi-finalists are then forwarded to the Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship Committee for final consideration.

Because of the generosity of contributors to the Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship Fund, the state federation committee has been able to award every semi-finalist a scholarship for well over two decades.

 “The Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship Program remains one of our favorite programs,” Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy said, “because it is a beacon of optimism about the future and a direct investment in union families who believe that higher education is a ticket to navigating a more complex work world.”

 “A few years ago, we were surveyed confidentially by a company that advises institutions on scholarship programs, in large part because they had noticed our program has a unique structure and they wanted to know more about how we operate,” Levy said. “They told us that the level of participation we receive from Central Labor Councils and the number of applicants we attract on a regular basis are exceptionally strong.”

“We know none of that would be possible without the volunteer work of labor activists across the state who believe in this program, along with donors to the Scholarship Fund.”

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. 

Continuing Scholarships of $1,500 go to a pool of students who previously won a scholarship as a high school senior. Judged by the Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship Committee, this portion of the program places heavy emphasis on students’ volunteer and public service actions. This year, five students received the continuing award.

Levy thanked the Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship Committee for its service. Panel members who attended this year’s selection meeting includeJeff Darby (AFGE), Clara Caldwell (TSEU/CWA), B.R. Williams (ILA) and Ray McMurrey (AFT).

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

Special occasions for labor activists and the death of beloved labor leaders have often spurred donations to the Fund. 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 have gone to the Fund as well.

Donors of one or more full scholarships this year include: IBEW Local 66, IBEW Local 716, IUOE Local 450, Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 68, Joe D. & Dorothy Gunn (memorial), Texas State Council of Machinists (in memory of George Hooper), Texas AFL-CIO, Texas Building & Construction Trades Council, UAW Region 5 SW States CAP Counciland American Income Life, The donors are noted among the list of recipients.

The Texas AFL-CIO Education Department will mail scholarship packets for the 2019 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, 2019.

Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship - 1

Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship - 2

Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship - 3

Donors to Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship Fund

July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018

American Income Life

AOA Group, Foster YMCA

Joe Arabie

Joe Beuerlein

Kirsten Bey

Blue Cross Blue Shield Illinois

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen

Virgie Camarillo

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists-San Antonio

Linda Chavez-Thompson

Kevin Clift (Clift Group)

Jacqueline Collier

CWA Local 6132

CWA Local 6215

Michael & Lynette Edwards

Patti & Dick Ellis

Montserrat Garibay


IBEW 716

ILA Local 28

IUOE Local 450

Julie Ann Jagemann

Rick Levy

Robert McEntire

Lee Medley

Tonya & Bill Merritt; Rhonda Ellis; Debbie & Chad Hudspeth

Becky Moeller

Morgan Stanley

John & Linda Patrick

Plumber Local 68

Jay & Patricia Powell

Wayne Roberts

Sabine Area Central Labor Council

San Antonio Central Labor Council

Kamron Saunders

Emily & Dennis Speight

Texas AFL-CIO 

Texas Building & Construction Trades Council

Texas State Council of Machinists

Texas State Strutters Board of Directors

Texas State Teachers Association

Texstar Marketing Inc.

Maria Thomas

TWU Local 260

UAW Region 5 SW States Cap Council

Eugenia Maxwell Ulbert

Union Labor Life Ins. Co.

USW 13-243

Rosa Walker

Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship Program Memorials – 2018

Cynthia Burks

Renee Cicero

Sarah Cross

Grace Cummins

Ronald H. Darby

Fernande Eliano

Connie English

Dan Fite

Bill Haywood, Joe Hill & Mother Jones

Hervey Harrison Hiner Sr.

Jimmy Horton

Gilbert Kissling

Neil Koutnik

Megan Amber Lewis

Jaime Martinez

Barbara McCoy

Gertrude Mika

Maria Alicia Albarado Morales

Gerald Ray Nance

Diane Shirley Nash

T.O. Parsons

Brent Petit

Mary Petry

Robert E. “Bob” Priest

Letti Ramirez

David Ramos

Therese & Richard Rodriguez

Bruce Tregre

Jeff Warden

Dally Willis

Gwen York


Mike Cunningham

John Patrick

Rosa Walker