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IATSE Family Member Awarded 2017 Union Plus Scholarship

Friday, August 11, 2017

Washington, D.C.Union Plus recently awarded $150,000 in scholarships to 106 students representing 31 unions, including one winner representing the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). This year’s group of scholarship recipients includes university, college, and trade or technical school students from 35 states. The IATSE winner is Riley Wood of Los Angeles. Wood, whose mother, Mary Cheung, is a member of IATSE Local 705, has been awarded a $750 scholarship.

“Education is a vital building block for success,” Union Plus President Mitch Stevens said. “We’re pleased to be helping some of the labor movement’s most promising students achieve their college dreams.”

Meet the 2017 IATSE Honoree

Riley Wood

Riley is a 2017 graduate of Westmoreland Academy in Pasadena, California. She plans to attend Pasadena City College this fall as a history major. Riley has persevered through the challenges of cerebral palsy and selective mutism to become an active mentor, leader, and public servant to her community. Her mother, who immigrated from China as a child with her family, has told her about the poor working conditions she endured prior to becoming an IATSE member. “She used to work a flat rate for however long was needed to finish a job without overtime pay, and you would just be grateful for the work,” Riley said. “I look forward to being a part of a union when I start working.”

High school activities and honors: Girl Scout Silver Award (2012); founder and president, Westmoreland Anime Club (2015-2017); Breton Leadership Award (2015); second place, running, Special Olympics (2016)

Volunteerism: Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA (2012-2013); Alexandria House Holiday Event (2012, 2015); Veteran’s Holiday Celebration (2013-2016); Sante D’Or animal shelter (2015); volunteer and peer mentor, school breakfast delivery program

Learn More About the Union Plus Scholarship Program

The Union Plus Scholarship Program, now in its 26th 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.

Since starting the program in 1991, Union Plus has awarded more than $4.2 million in educational funding to more than 2,800 union members, spouses and dependent children. Union Plus Scholarship awards are granted to students attending a two-year college, four-year college, graduate school or recognized technical or trade school. The selection process is very competitive, and this year over 5,100 applications were received from 65 unions and all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories.

Visit unionplus.org/scholarship for applications and benefit eligibility.

In addition to the scholarship program, Union Plus provides a wide range of money-saving programs and services for union members and families, including discounts on wireless services from AT&T, the only nationwide unionized wireless carrier, savings on travel and recreation, and more. Visit unionplus.org for details.