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NATCA Scholarship Winner McKenzie Farrell’s Essay

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?”

McKenzie Farell, child of Donald Farell (Chicago Center, ZAU) is among this year’s 20 winners of a $1,000 scholarship. Below is the essay that McKenzie submitted.

Dr. Martin Luther King began his Civil Rights movement in 1955 by leading the Montgomery bus boycott. When Dr. King began advocating for equal rights, he did not have many supporters and had a small voice. It was challenging for him to see a change in society because there were not enough people working with him. It is very difficult to see a change, especially a major change, when there is just one person fighting for it.

Over time, Dr. King gained more support and had more people standing behind him. He gave his famous “I have a Dream” speech in 1963, in which he called for civil and economic rights, as well as an end to racism in the United States. By 1963, there were a significant number of people advocating to end segregation. Through the efforts of Dr. King and many other influential leaders, the Civil Rights Act was signed in 1964. This outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and gender identity. It is easier to make a change when you have more people fighting for it. A group of people will always have a louder voice than just one person. This is similar to how unions work.

In a union, a group of people vote for a representative. This representative uses their voice to represent the whole group. They could voice what the employees want in regards to paid time off, disciplinary actions, or salaries. Unions are able to obtain the goals or the wants they have by having a lot of people supporting their representative.

This is very similar to how Dr. King had many supporters. He was not able to end segregation on his own. He needed a group of people who also advocated the same thing. In unions, if only the representative wanted to see a certain change, it would not happen.

Unions work well because there is a large group of people that all use their voice to make the changes that they want to see. Like Edward Hale once said, “coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

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