May 2017 Advocate: McDonough Scholarship
Laurie Myers is recipient of 2017 Joe McDonough AFT Social Justice Scholarship
by Susan McDonough, daughter of Joe McDonough (former CSM psychology professor) and creator of the Joe McDonough AFT Scholarship, which honors her father’s years of activism in AFT 1493 and his commitment to social justice
“I attribute a great deal of my success to a residential restorative justice program, where I not only live but where I spend a large portion of my time volunteering with the newer women who come through our program and want to change their lives.”
These are the words of Laurie Myers (in photo at left), this year’s recipient of the Joe McDonough AFT Social Justice Scholarship. This annual award of $5,000 is for a fulltime student engaged in a campus or community organization working for social justice.
Working toward an AA degree in social science with a focus on Addiction Studies at CSM, Laurie’s goal is to reach incarcerated women and help with drug/alcohol treatment so they may learn a new way to live and stop the cycle of recidivism.
Laurie’s first hand experience with addiction and jail time, and her remarkable road to recovery through restorative justice, make her well-suited to working as a counselor with incarcerated women. Her commitment to social change through her work and her studies demonstrates her dedication to helping fundamentally changing a system that has punished rather than provided viable solutions.
“In my own personal experience I have found that when a person is released from jail or prison, without a viable, workable plan, they will go right back to the lifestyle which led them to prison in the first place,” wrote Laurie in her scholarship application. “This seems especially true for women, where re-entry resources are even more limited. My plan after completing the Addiction Studies program is to find work counseling incarcerated women, so that they can get a better understanding of addiction and how closely addiction correlates with recidivism.”
Both AFT Local 1493 and the family of former professor of psychology Joe McDonough immediately came to the conclusion that Laurie – a hard worker, a dedicated student, and committed to social justice – was the right choice for this year’s award.