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NATCA Scholarship Winner Jillian Luna’s Essay: “…A force to be reckoned with.”

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?”

Jillian Luna, child of Richard Luna (Fort Worth Center, ZFW) is among this year’s 20 winners of a $1,000 scholarship. Below is the essay that Jillian submitted.

No matter the cause, no matter the fight, a group of like-minded people are a force to be reckoned with. They may not always win every battle, but they will leave their mark in ways that an individual can’t. The differences between the two are startling.

First, the strength of a large group advocating together is powerful. With a dynamic leader and leadership team to stay on course to reach the group’s common goal, others outside the group are drawn to the appearance of solidarity. A “safety in numbers” mentality helps the group to grow in number and therefore in power. In contrast, when a single person speaks up, their voice is weaker and it’s harder to get others to listen and jump on board. An individual who is simply speaking strongly has very little chance of making a difference until others join them in their cause.

Second, problems can be solved more easily when a large team works together to find solutions. Even the process of fine-tuning your common goals and purpose is more ideal when individuals come together to make these decisions. When you’re fighting for an issue alone, you don’t have other team members with which to share the workload. There isn’t anyone else to bounce ideas off of and guide your plan of action. If you want to impact the world on an important issue, wouldn’t you want to make sure that your plan, your opinions, and your voice is collaborative in nature and has been tested and approved by someone else?

When people work together towards a common goal, wonderful things can happen. Lives can be changed and even the trajectory of history can be rewritten. This popular saying, “Teamwork divides the effort and multiplies the effect,” displays the true value of a group working towards a common goal. Alone we are great, but together we are better and can achieve more – for everyone.

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