More than a dozen IBEW members and family members are among this year’s recipients of Union Plus scholarships. One young recipient on the list, however, never knew his journeyman lineman father.
Trevor Crider Levi is a 2018 graduate of southeastern Indiana’s Rising Sun High School and the winner of a $500 scholarship. He was born in 1999, just a few months after his father, Cincinnati Local 212 member Travis Crider, died from injuries he sustained in an electrical accident on a job site in nearby Covington, Ky.
“My father was very proud of his union and his trade,” Crider Levi said. “The Brotherhood wrote down many stories to share with me about the father I never had a chance to meet, and the pension fund from Local 212 provided a check to my family each month since his death.”
Crider Levi joins a list of 11 other children of IBEW members and three active members who recently were awarded scholarships from Union Plus, the non-profit benefits program operated by the AFL-CIO’s Union Privilege organization.
The one-time cash awards range from $500 to $4,000 and are based on outstanding academic achievement, personal character, financial need, and commitment to the values of organized labor. After receiving more than 6,000 applications this year, the Union Plus Education Foundation awarded $150,000 in scholarships to 115 students representing 32 unions including IBEW.
“We’re extremely proud of the achievements of these IBEW brothers and sisters and family members for their achievements so far,” International President Lonnie R. Stephenson said. “And we’ll be watching to see what incredible things they accomplish in the future.”
The IBEW members who won scholarships are:
An organizer and steward for Boise, Idaho, Local 291, Rachel also is a marketing major at Boise State University. She works for AT&T and was awarded a $3,000 scholarship.
The recording secretary for Salt Lake City Local 354, Tyler was awarded a $500 scholarship. He attends Salt Lake Community College “to be better prepared to serve our local membership,” he said.
A member of Houston Local 716 pursuing an electrical engineering degree at Houston Community College, Brittany was awarded a $500 scholarship. “IBEW has allowed me to learn a valuable trade at a fraction of the price of a traditional college education,” she said. “A union education in the trades is one of the best-kept secrets.”
The children of IBEW members who won scholarships are:
$2,500 scholarship. Taylor served as president of her local Future Farmers of America chapter and aspires to be a high school agriculture teacher. Her father, Michael, is a member of Kansas City, Mo., Local 1613.
Trevor Crider Levi:
$500 scholarship. Trevor’s father, Travis, was a journeyman lineman with Cincinnati Local 212 who was fatally injured in a workplace accident in 1999, an incident that has inspired Trevor to pursue a career caring for and motivating injured workers.
$2,000 scholarship. Caroline’s father, Michael, is a member of New York City Local 3 and a third-generation union member. “I have a strong sense of the values of being in a union,” she said. “I have learned and witnessed the true power of what organized labor can do.”
$750 scholarship. Although Ben sustained brain damage at birth and was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy, he graduated high school with honors. His father, George, is a member of Norfolk, Va., Local 1142.
$750 scholarship. Samantha’s mother, Amy, is a member of Sioux Falls, S.D., Local 426. “The fair wages my mother earns as an IBEW member help provide for her family,” Samantha said. “Being a part of the union should be important to all working-class employees so that everyone can have a voice for a better quality of life in the workplace.”
$2,000 scholarship. Lester’s father, Lesley, is a member of Honolulu Local 1260. “My father values his IBEW membership,” Lester said. “Safer working conditions kept my father safe in his high-risk job, and higher wages helped us acquire the standard of living my family has today.”
$2,000 scholarship. Julia’s father, Vincent, is a member of Boston Local 103. “My father supports a wife and three children with his job through IBEW,” Julia said. “The union has given my father the opportunity to support a family, and it has taught me what a strong work ethic looks like.”
$500 scholarship. Lydia hopes to become a middle school math and language arts teacher. Her father, Scott, is a member of Peoria, Ill., Local 34.
$500 scholarship. As a child, Kendal attended union events with her father, Darrin, a member of East Windsor, N.J., Local 827. “IBEW has advocated for securities such as health benefits for my family,” Kendal said, “something we could not do without.”
$1,000 scholarship. Luke was his high school class’s valedictorian, and he is a National Merit Semifinalist and National Advanced Placement Scholar. His father, Chad, is a member of Ventura, Calif., Local 952.
$1,000 scholarship. When Olivia’s father, Las Vegas Local 357’s John O’Keefe, underwent back surgery, “The IBEW protected his job and made sure that he still had a viable way to provide for his family,” she said.
$1,000 scholarship. Mikaela is a sophomore neuroscience major at St. Paul, Minnesota’s University of St. Thomas. Her father, John, is a member of Burnsville, Minn., Local 949, and her mother, Jodi, is a member of the American Federation of Teachers.
Since 1986, Union Plus has leveraged the buying power of millions of union members in the United States to achieve competitive pricing and money-saving discounts on a wide variety of products and services.
The Union Plus Scholarship Program was started in 1991. It awards grants to students attending a two-year college, four-year college, graduate school, or recognized technical or trade school. Students may re-apply each year. Visit unionplus.org/scholarship for applications and benefit eligibility.