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9 Instagram videos from Union Plus Scholarship winners

Posted on August 12, 2014
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Something special happens the moment between a student opening a Union Plus Scholarship letter and realizing the dream of paying for college.

The Union Plus Scholarship Program has provided us hundreds of these stories; this year, we invited all the Union Plus Scholarship award winners to share this surprise by creating an Instagram video.

Check out their video submissions below, and let us know what you think in the comments below!

How would you react if you won $10,000 for your student loan?

To show our commitment to union families and education, Union Plus wants to put a major dent in the student loan debt of three lucky winners with the $20K Student Loan Giveaway (ending THIS Friday, August 15):


  • Grand prize is a student loan payment of $10,000.
  • Two $5,000 first prizes will also be awarded to pay off student loans.
  • 5 second prize winners will get free tutoring, courses and books from The Princeton Review, our Union Plus partner.

Don't wait! You have until this Friday, August 15, to enter the union-only $20K Student Loan Giveaway >>


Brianna Berry, UFCW member from Florence, Kentucky.

What does Brianna think about unions? "Labor unions arose in response to a need…because of the Labor movement, the common man now has a voice, and protected rights," Brianna wrote.



Sean Quinn, GCC-IBT son from Huntington, New York.

What does Sean think about unions? "I think it is important to belong to a union because unions believe in taking care of all their members…We need unions to preserve the middle class because that is the backbone of our democracy," Sean wrote.



Hannah Powell-Yost, IBEW daughter from Chesapeake, Virginia.

What does Hannah think about unions? "Without such support and benefits of [my dad] being part of the IBEW providing the opportunities and financial stability it has, who knows what memories we may have missed out on as I was growing up? I'm certainly glad I'll never have to know," Hannah wrote.



John Ertl, USW member from Hartford, Connecticut.

What does John think about unions? "Had it not been for my mom's good-paying union job with the state government my family never would have made it," John wrote.



Alanna McAuliffe, IUOE daughter from Staten Island, New York.

What does Alanna think about unions? "Unions served as a voice for middle-class, hardworking American families like my own," Alanna wrote.



Marco Lin, UAW son from Saint Clair Shores, Michigan.

What does Marco think about unions? "Thanks to the collective bargaining power of the union, we feel safe and secure," Marco wrote.



Kieri Smith, BAC daughter from Myrtle Point, Oregon.

What does Kieri think about unions? "By being members of unions, my parents have enjoyed fair wages, healthy working conditions, medical, dental, and future retirement funds," Kieri wrote.



Vikas Munjal, AFSCME son from Fords, New Jersey.

What does Vikas think about unions? "The essence of what labor unions…do â€" give workers a stronger voice so that they can get a fair share of the economic growth they help create-is and has always been, throughout American history, important to making the economy work for all Americans," Vikas wrote.



Samantha Browne, IUOE daughter from Crown Point, Indiana.

What does Samantha think about unions? "Growing up, there are two things I can remember my dad saying: boys are bad, and the union is good…Unions are the essence of America representing pride, fair wages, and the working class," Samantha wrote.



Graciela Sills, OPEIU daughter from Austin, Texas.

What does Graciela think about unions? "I hope to use my strength in communications to reach out to other people who are in tough spots and need somebody to advocate for them. After all, that is the very foundation of the labor movement," Graciela wrote.

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