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NATCA Scholarship Winner Jessica Brandes Essay: “Band Together and Fight”

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. Unions empower people to advocate for better working 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?”

Jessica Brandes, child of Michael Brandes (Retired member, Chicago Center, ZAU), is among the 2022 winners of the NATCA scholarship. Read the essay Jessica submitted, below.

There are several ways to advocate for a cause or goal, such as a group of people talking, or a single individual speaking up. Although there are similarities between a group of people advocating for a cause, versus a single person speaking of something they strongly believe in, there are also several differences. To begin, the exceedingly obvious difference is having more than one person advocating for the goal. This allows the message to spread more and allow others who feel the same, to help advocate. When a group advocates for a cause, it allows everyone who is supportive of the cause to band together and fight for it. On the other hand, when compared to one person who feels strongly about the topic, the individual will have a potentially harder time advocating for what they feel strongly about on their own. Having one person who cares strongly about a topic will only get the individual so far. By advocating alone, it would be harder to get the message around since they are limited in who they can preach to and who they talk to. When compared to a group of people advocating for a cause, it would be more likely for their message to be heard since several people collaborate to share the message. By having more people to spread the word, the networking expands and allows others to influence others which could cause a chain reaction making the group bigger indefinitely. Conversely, not everyone in a group may feel as strongly as another person within the group, diminishing their part of sharing the message. When considering ways of advocating, social media plays a large role. A single individual would have an easier time maintaining an account which allows them to speak out, but when compared to an entire group, several people can have multiple accounts in several places allowing better succession. If needed, a group could assign a social media manager. This would create a huge impact since they would be able to help others within the group organize an account which helps disperse information. Overall, both a group advocating and a single individual, has powerful impacts on spreading a message, but they are completely different compared to each other in how the message is spread.

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