AFGE Members and Their Families Win 21 FEEA Merit-Based Scholarships

AFGE is proud to announce that 21 members and their families are finalists of the 2021 merit-based scholarship competition organized by the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (FEEA).  

This year, FEEA awarded 231 scholarships with support from its partners. Selected from over 2,400 applicants, these individuals were chosen for their outstanding academic achievements and community engagement.  

AFGE finalists are: 

  • Dante Basanese, Michigan Technological University; Sponsor: Mother, Lisa Basanese, Veterans Affairs 
  • Taylor Brandt, University of Alabama at Birmingham; Sponsor: Mother, Amber Brandt, Army 
  • Madison Cavender, Utah State University; Sponsor: Father, Vaughn Cavender, Air Force 
  • Leah Cherukara, Rutgers University; Sponsor: Mother, Sumy Cherukara, EPA 
  • Morgan Daugherty, University of Maryland; Sponsor: Mother, Jessica Bundy, Interior 
  • Gabriela Giulumian, University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill; Sponsor: Mother, Mariela Molero, Veterans Affairs 
  • Gabriela Gonzalez, North Carolina State University; Sponsor: Mother, Ximena Gonzalez, SSA 
  • LeQuandra Hale-Banks, Walden University; Member: AFGE Local 3930, Veterans Affairs 
  • James Hartnett, Arizona State University; Sponsor: Mother, Kimberly Hartnett, Veterans Affairs 
  • Madeline Kim, University of California Los Angeles; Sponsor: Father, David Kim, EPA 
  • Macy Kloberdanz, Texas Christian University; Sponsor: Father, Gerald Kloberdanz, SSA 
  • Joya Majumder, Bryn Mawr College; Sponsor: Father, Joydeb Majumder, EPA 
  • Alexis Martinez, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Sponsor: Father, Jose Martinez, SSA 
  • Benjamin Nadolsky, University of Pennsylvania; Sponsor: Mother, Pamela Nadolsky, SSA 
  • Bailee O’Briant, North Carolina State University; Sponsor: Step-Parent, Elias Hernandez, DHS 
  • Andrew Pothoven, Lake Superior State University; Sponsor: Father, Steven Pothoven, Commerce 
  • Kendarius Spencer, Univ of Alabama Birmingham, Sponsor: Mother, Kenya Spencer, DOD 
  • Daren Thai, University of Utah; Sponsor: Mother, Van Thai, SSA 
  • Hannah VanderLugt, Kalamazoo College; Sponsor: Mother, Amy VanderLugt, Veterans Affairs 
  • Camille Weiss, Butler University; Sponsor: Mother, Tangela Weiss, HUD 
  • Natassia Zander, University of Nevada Reno; Sponsor: Mother, Katherine Zander, Air Force 

A full list of finalists can be found here


The 2021 finalists represent a diverse set of academic majors and institutions of higher learning. They also hail from all 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, and overseas postings. The majority are children of federal employees who serve in over 90 federal departments and agencies. Others are grandchildren of retired federal employees, and federal employees themselves. 

“As a federal employee and a member of the American Federation of Government Employees (Local 3930), it is refreshing to know that my employer and union organization support the financial endeavors of its employees and members,” said LeQuandra Hale-Banks. “Words alone cannot express how honored I feel to be bestowed this scholastic token of appreciation so that I can enhance my education and skills as a well-rounded social worker and utilizing my expertise to uplift and add knowledge to the profession.” 

AFGE is a proud sponsor of this scholarship competition and encourages members and their families to explore this opportunity. The application for the 2022 FEEA Scholarship competition will be available in October through the FEEA website at The deadline to apply is 3 p.m. Eastern March 24, 2022. 

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