ALBANY, N.Y. September 14, 2010 - As NYSUT educators welcome their new students this fall, they know that many of their former students are off to a good start thanks to the roughly $3 million in college scholarships provided by union locals statewide this year.
More than 90 percent of NYSUT locals offer annual scholarships to graduating seniors and other deserving students. Most were presented at high school graduations in June in recognition of high academic standards or exceptional leadership qualities.
"Many scholarships are funded out of educators' own pockets," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi. "Our members appreciate the value of higher education and are willing, even in tough economic times, to help make a college education a reality for any student who aspires to go on."
Scholarships range from $25, to the $5,000 awards the United Federation of Teachers - NYSUT's affiliate in New York City - gave to 250 deserving students this year in recognition of academic merit and financial need.
In higher education, United University Professions - NYSUT's local representing academic and professional faculty at the State University of New York - awards both the Eugene P. Link Scholarship, recognizing students who demonstrate academic excellence, a commitment to social justice and dedication to the goals of the trade union movement; and scholarships to the children of UUP members attending SUNY colleges.
The Professional Staff Congress - representing faculty and staff at the City University of New York - has the Belle Zeller Scholarship Trust Fund, named in honor of the union's founding president.
Scholarship funds are raised in a variety of ways, including dress-down days, charity basketball and softball games, bake sales or simple collection baskets. A list of scholarships, and awarding union locals, is attached.
NYSUT, the state's largest union, represents some 600,000 classroom teachers and other school employees; faculty and other professionals at the state's community colleges, State University of New York and City University of New York, and other education and health professionals. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.