The Electrical Worker online
November 2022

My IBEW Story
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Mackenzie Grammer, Fifth-Year Inside Apprentice
Boston Local 103

"My journey began my freshman year of high school. I originally chose the business shop, having no idea what I was going to make of myself, but ended up switching to the electrical class. I had no idea what great opportunities I would have, especially because my first opportunity working in the field was in my junior year at a nonunion electrical company where I was the only female and getting paid less than my male counterparts. I decided when the summer was over to quit that job, and it was the best decision I ever made.

My senior year I had the opportunity to do a cooperative program with my school and a Local 103 contractor. My first day going out to work was one of the scariest days of my life, but when I walked on site I knew it was the path for me because I was welcomed with warm arms. I've never felt more in the right place.

I was awarded a scholarship from Local 103 when I graduated that was specifically for vocational school students. Getting it was kind of a big deal because no one in my family made it past college, so this was a very big accomplishment. It was like winning the lottery.

I grew up well below the poverty line. My mom is on disability and my dad works a retail job while supporting my four siblings and me. It was hard growing up, but the second that I got into the IBEW I knew I could provide a better life for my family, and I can proudly say that I have. I love the thought that the IBEW has helped me take the burden off my parents financially. It takes a village to raise a family, and the IBEW has become a part of my village."