Congratulations to our 2017 NATCA Scholarship Program winners! Our President's Award winners ($2,000 from NATCA and, thanks to SkyOne Federal Credit Union, an extra $500 each) are Kaylie Killian (Christopher Killian, ZHU), Sophia Leonard (Donald Leonard, ZOB, retired), and Samantha Melton (Larry Melton, STL). Below is the list of $1,000 scholarship winners:

Winner's Name (Member Relative and Facility)
Madison Aitken (Robert Aitken, ENE)
Tara Bahr (Joel Bahr, MKE)
Gregory Baker (Angela and Gregory Baker, ZTL)
Brittany Brooks (Paul Brooks, JRF)
Olivia Cain (James Cain, MRY, retired)
Madeline Clark (Patrick Clark, ZOA)
Samantha Hasmi-Delgado (Martha Delgado, ZMA)
Sarah Faust (Patricia Brace (Faust), ESW)
Lydia Fregosi (Kevin Fregosi, ROC)
Kathleen Glancey (Daniel Glancey, ZDC)
Taylor Grider (Jason Grider, ZFW)
Philip Hughes IV (Philip Hughes III, A90)
John "Jack" Richards (Jeffrey Richards, ZAU)
Cooper Skoric (Michael Skoric, ZDV)
Kirby Skoric (Michael Skoric, ZDV)
Sierra Dawn Smith-Sandland (Jennie Sandland, ZAN)
Ethan Reese Spencer (Brian and Denise Spencer, ZSE)
Kevin Stafford (Donald Stafford, ROA)
Roberto Torres (Roberto Torres, ZSU)
Sydney Velasquez (Fred Velasquez, IAH)


Samantha Melton
Harvard University, Harvard Divinity School
“Uniting Narrative, Education, and Vocation”

SamanthaMeltonOn Oct. 5, 2016, college students across the country likely woke up and walked briefly across campus to their respective dining halls to grab a quick breakfast before class. However, here at Harvard University, morning strolls to the dining hall included a brief walk through protest lines, surrounded by the chorus of chants that gathered outside the administrative offices of President Faust. On this fall morning, Harvard University Dining Service (HUDS) employees began a 22-day strike fighting for living, sustainable wages and affordable healthcare plans. For these 22 days, under the ivy laced towers of Harvard Yard, in the shadows you would find students, faculty, and staff, protesting alongside the HUDS employees of the UNITE HERE Local 26 Union that was taking on the most wealthy University in the world.

As the child of a former Tower Local Representative, I was all too familiar with the struggle for workers’ rights. Whether it was through dinner conversations or at the 2010 NATCA National Convention, the role of the union had been neatly woven throughout my narrative. Though I knew that my father had come from a working class family as a child, it was only as I stood on the protest lines with HUDS employees that I began to truly grasp the value of the labor movement to my family. The HUDS workers in which I had the privilege to learn from, demonstrated the importance of the labor movement for the most marginalized and vulnerable of America’s workforce. As I heard the stories of immigrant parents who relied on the University’s health care for their family, I realized that those who so selflessly serve us every day not only deserved sustainable and affordable care from the University, but also deserved the support of the children of union workers.

In late October, I sat with a Harvard economist who declared, with full confidence, that the demands of the Union were far too great to be met by the University. That same night, I participated in a sit-in which ended late into the night when the Harvard administration agreed to meet all of the demands of the HUDS employees. The dichotomy of this experience has altered my vocational goals, pushing me to more deeply consider the ways in which we can utilize our academic work of the ivory towers to illuminate the problems found in the shadows. As a HUDS strike supporter, I found the opportunity to connect my family’s union narrative to my religious studies by working with the community of Harvard Divinity School (HDS) to plan and participate in a student-led interfaith service for HUDS employees. As I continue my education at HDS and aspire to become a university professor and community organizer, I hope to create opportunities for students to interact with their academic work outside of the classroom, allowing their unique narratives to shape their vocational path and ensure that the ivy towers of Harvard Yard are never disconnected from the work of the labor movement again.


THE 2017-2018 PROGRAM


  • Spouses, children, stepchildren, and legally adopted children of active, retired, and deceased NATCA members.
  • Two years of continuous good standing active union membership prior to submission of application.
  • Enrollment into an accredited college or university.


  • Awards will be based on a lottery system.
  • Applicants must qualify for the lottery by submitting an application as well as an essay. The essay must follow the outlined question and contain no more than 500 words.
  • The NATCA President and Executive Vice President will judge qualifications for the lottery.


  • Please submit an essay of no more than 500 words.
  • Please ensure that you send your essay with the completed application; essays sent separately will not be considered.
  • In your essay, please describe your career goals and aspirations, and highlight the importance of the union and the labor movement to your family and/or yourself and why you are deserving of a union scholarship.
  • Essays must be applicants’ own work.


Applications must be postmarked no later than March 1, 2018. Applicants wishing to receive confirmation of receipt should send a self-addressed stamped postcard along with the application.

Applications should be mailed to:

Attn: Scholarship Fund
1325 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

You can also email a PDF of your application and essay to forms@natcadc.org

A notification letter will be sent to all applicants announcing their approval or denial of scholarship funds by April 30, 2018.


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Congratulations to our 2016 NATCA Scholarship Program winners! Our President's Award winner ($2,000 scholarship) is Rebecca Kerr, daughter of Robert Kerr (Cleveland, Great Lakes Region). Below is the list of $1,000 scholarship winners:



Past Scholarship Winners