Congratulations to our AFGE Union Plus Scholarship Winners!

Union Plus recently awarded $150,000 in scholarships to 115 students representing 32 unions, including three winners who represent AFGE.  

The Union Plus Scholarship Program, now in its 27th year, awards scholarships based on outstanding academic achievement, personal character, financial need, and commitment to the values of organized labor. The program is offered through the Union Plus Education Foundation. 

AFGE is happy that the Union Plus Scholarship Program provides assistance and support for 115 deserving students who are committed to our union values. 

This year’s group of scholarship recipients includes university, college, and trade or technical school students from 36 states. The AFGE winners are: 

Tiajuanna Evans of Hopkins, South Carolina. Evans, a member of AFGE Local 1915, has been awarded a $750 scholarship. 

A non-traditional student, Tia is studying nursing at Midlands Technical College in West Columbia, South Carolina. She is a member of AFGE Local 1915 and the single mother of three children, all of whom are also enrolled in college. Tia is a surgical services program support assistant at the William Jennings Bryan Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center.  

Karen Curenton, Facility Organ Donor/Transplant Coordinator at Dorn, said it has been a wonderful experience having Tia in her service line.  

“Tia is hardworking, dependable, encouraging, and has a dynamic work ethic,” Curenton said. “She’s always had a love for nursing but could never find the time or resources to fully dedicate herself to its pursuit until now. I believe wholeheartedly that this is the time for her to fulfill her dream.”  

Activities and honors: vice chair of health, Inspire Mentoring Group; vice chair of health, Diamond Festival; local Parent-Teacher-Student Association  

Ryan Murphy of Mahwah, New Jersey. Murphy, whose father Norman Murphy is a member of AFGE Local 913, has been awarded a $2,000 scholarship. 

Ryan recently completed his first year at the University of Chicago. He has not yet declared a major but would like to become a lawyer. His sister, Ariel Murphy, was a 2014 Union Plus Scholarship recipient. Ryan graduated from the Academy for the Advancement of Science and Technology in Hackensack, New Jersey. While in high school, he interned at the Bergen County Department of Health Services. Ryan comes from a proud union family, as three of his grandparents were union members.  

“I have been fortunate to grow up in a home where there was never a worry about paying the mortgage, keeping the heat on, or putting food on the table,” Ryan said. “Some of that can be credited to my father’s AFGE involvement, helping to assure steady and gainful employment.”  

Activities and honors: National Merit Scholar; National Honor Society; U.S. Presidential Scholars nominee; Congressional Award Gold Medal; Junior State of America; Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America  

Volunteerism: historic cemetery restoration, Mahwah Historic Preservation Commission commendation for service  

Noah Frazee of Huntington, West Virginia. Frazee, whose father Barry Frazee is a member of AFGE Local 1286 and whose mother Amanda Frazee is a member of AFGE Local 2344, has been awarded a $500 scholarship.

Noah is a 2018 graduate of Spring Valley High School (SVHS) in Huntington, West Virginia. He will attend the Dark Horse Institute’s School of Audio Engineering and Music Business in Franklin, Tennessee. Noah is an accomplished musician who sings and plays guitar, drums, bass, and piano.  

Laurel Ferguson, a teacher for AP and honors classes at SVHS, said Noah is one of the best students she’s taught.  

“Noah excels working with other people, he is a natural leader, he is always kind and helpful, and people tend to gravitate toward him,” Ferguson said. “At all times, I have found Noah to be hardworking with a positive attitude. He is intelligent and motivated for success.”  

Activities and honors: National Honor Society; Mu Alpha Theta; SVHS jazz band 

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