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Union Plus scholarship helps IAFF Captain

Posted on August 22, 2013
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Iaff nlc scholarship winner 2013

Michael Terenzio of Watertown, CT, could teach anyone a thing or two about fighting fires. He started as a volunteer firefighter in 1970, and for the last 37 years he has been a proud member of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 786. Today he's a Captain in the Stamford, CT, Fire Department.

Terenzio believes a good firefighter, no matter how experienced, can always learn more. "We believe continuing education and training is critical to protecting the public," Terenzio says.

"My union is committed to helping us progress in our field and stay up to date on the latest technology so that we can keep each other, and our communities, as safe as possible," he adds.

That's why Terenzio has been pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Readiness & Response Management through the National Labor College (NLC), with help from a Union Plus scholarship.

The NLC is the nation's only accredited higher education institution devoted exclusively to educating union members, leaders and staff. Through Union Plus, NLC students have the opportunity to apply for $25,000 in scholarships each year.

Terenzio received an associate's degree in the 1990s and he has also earned numerous training certifications. With his new degree in Emergency Readiness & Response Management he expects to have a new level of expertise-and provide a new level of leadership.

"This degree from the National Labor College will help me be prepared for any hazard and any situation that could affect the community," he says.

Terenzio appreciates the financial support he's receiving from Union Plus, and he's grateful that the NLC has given him credit for his many years of training and experience. He expects to complete his degree later this year.

"My degree from the NLC will help me be a better leader while also helping me advance my career," Terenzio says. "I'm thankful to Union Plus for helping me achieve my goals."

Of course, Terenzio has one more reason for feeling proud these days. That's because his son, also named Michael, is following in his father's footsteps. "He's been volunteering for the last seven years, just like I did," Terenzio says. "Very soon I expect he's going to become a professional firefighter, and union member, just like me."

Each year the Union Plus NLC Scholarship provides $25,000 in awards to current dues paying AFL-CIO union members or staff employees attending the NLC.

Awards are determined and administered by the NLC. These awards are based on financial need and are made every term in January, May, and September.

NLC online degrees offer credit for prior college and apprenticeships, and are available in the following areas:

More information and an online enrollment form are available at

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