Membership Pays: Meet This AFGE Member Who Was Just Awarded $36,000

For Nathan Sporin, union membership means a better life and a sense of stability.

Like many Americans, Sporin thought the way employers treated workers poorly was the norm until he took a job at a cardboard box factory where employees were represented by the Teamsters. It was the first time he saw the pride, self-respect, and a sense of stability that came with the fraternity of a union.

It was also the first time he was fully insured since he had been honorably discharged from the Marine Corps 10 years earlier. Retirement plans, fair allocation of overtime and layoffs, and other rights the union had bargained for its members made him and his wife feel secure enough to start the family they had always wanted.

“Having now been exposed to the capacity to prosper, which is inherent with membership in organized labor, I made joining the AFGE Local 830 a top priority when I started my career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” Sporin wrote in the essay that won him $36,000 to use for his education at Grantham University. 

Sporin is an electrician and a member of AFGE Local 830 in Michigan.  Every year, an AFGE member is awarded a $36,000 full scholarship to Grantham University, which covers tuition, books, software, and fees to earn an undergraduate or graduate degree. Each scholarship will also include a laptop computer provided by AFGE. 

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