Award recipients received certificates of recognition from the SEIU 721 Training Fund committee and the Riverside County Board of Supervisors at the beginning of Tuesday’s Board meeting, Aug. 5, 2014, in Riverside, CA.
Over $20,000 in scholarships were presented to the children of 23 Riverside County SEIU 721 members at the start of the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. The scholarships range from $250 to $3,000 and are a part of the SEIU Training Fund, a joint effort between SEIU 721 and Riverside County.
Many of the recipients will be attending local community colleges and universities while they work toward their educational degrees that include biochemistry, nutrition, criminal justice and environmental science. A common theme for the winning applicants’ essays was a desire to give back to their communities, and many want to follow in their parent’s footsteps and enter into fields of public service after graduation.
The Soria family has been a double recipient from the Training and Scholarship fund. Pauline Soria, a 911 emergency dispatcher, has received tuition and textbook reimbursements to help her complete her BA and will pursue a Master’s degree at California Baptist University. Her daughter Alyssa Soria, 17, was one of those who received a scholarship award. With a desire to help others, Alyssa will study Nutrition at Riverside City College this fall.
“Having SEIU 721 offer this type of financial aid helps members and our families as we pursue educational opportunities. Being in a union isn’t just about our current working situation or contract; it is also about our future, and that of our families’.” – Pauline Soria, SEIU 721 member and Riverside County Sheriff Senior 911 Communication Officer
Irma Gracian, Lead Housekeeper at RCRMC, was so excited when she received the union email about the scholarship opportunity that she snapped a picture on her phone and sent a text to her son, Abraham Gracian, 18, telling him to apply. The Canyon Springs High School grad received the largest award of $3,000 as he prepares to enter UCLA to study biochemistry and pursue pre-med.
“I feel great, this is just amazing” said Irma Gracian, SEIU 721 member and Lead Housekeeper, after her son and the other students were honored at the Board of Supervisors.Irma Gracian, with her children Abraham Gracian and Cindy Alvarado.
“It’s good that the union not only helps workers but also helps students. I am so thankful and I will definitely apply again.” Abraham Gracian, SEIU 721 Scholarship recipient and UCLA Freshman
The SEIU Training Fund Trust was established in 2009 to enhance the personal and professional development of SEIU 721 members employed by Riverside County and their children. Over the years, the training fund has provided tuition assistance and textbook reimbursement to more than 200 members, helping them obtain Master’s degrees, Bachelor’s degrees and job-related certificates. The fund has also awarded nearly 125 scholarships to the children of SEIU 721 members.
Click here or on the slide show below to view photos of the event.