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NATCA Scholarship Winner Melanie Barber Essay: “Stronger Together”

Every year, NATCA offers a scholarship program for spouses, children, stepchildren, and legally adopted children of active, retired, and deceased members in good standing for at least two consecutive years. This scholarship is for full-time attendance at accredited colleges and universities within the United States and its territories for an undergraduate degree program.

Unions empower people to negotiate together and advocate for better conditions and policies on local, state and national levels, working to achieve a brighter future for everyone. For 2022, students were asked to write in response to the prompt: “What is the difference between a group of people advocating for a cause versus one person speaking up for something they feel strongly about?”

Melanie Barber, child of Houston Center (ZHU) member Wayne Barber is among this year’s 20 winners of a $1,000 scholarship. Below is the essay that Melanie submitted.

I think the difference between a group of people advocating for a cause and a single person is that a group can go a lot farther than the single person because a group will be heard throughout a bigger crowd, but the one person alone can be the person to make people think about the issue at hand, and it could bring more awareness to people that this issue is happening which could lead to a group effort. Having a group effort is a smart advantage for your cause and can be very helpful at times when you need to speak your mind in public because more people will listen to a loud group. A group is a strong link and a great way to show teamwork skills which could end up helping their movement because people in it are more willing to share their connections so that the world or the people around them can see that the cause is worth fighting for. People will stand out and be strong together because they are all fighting for the same thing so all of their passion that they all share will make them even stronger because a crowd will recognize that strength and listen to them because of their group effort and confidence that they have in one another. A single person trying to stand up for what you believe in it can be very difficult because not a lot of people will tune in and listen to your opinion, but what makes that one person stand out is their confidence that they have that they can make a change and them alone can bring more than just a movement it can bring hope into other people’s lives because they will think about the one person’s opinion. The one person is passionate about the subject and is willing to stand in a crowd all alone just so people can listen to them. A single person could do more in my opinion because of their passion and drive they will stop at nothing until they are heard and the problem that they see is resolved or has a bigger change in people’s heart to do something about it.

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