May 2022 Advocate: Annual AFT Scholarship awarded

AFT Scholarships

AFT 1493 annual scholarship awarded to Skyline student Win Shwe Yee

by Marianne Kaletzky, AFT 1493 Executive Secretary

AFT 1493 was thrilled to award our annual AFT scholarship to Skyline student Win Shwe Yee at the May 5, 2022 Skyline Scholarship Awards Ceremony. Win Shwe is an economics major who hopes to transfer to San Diego State; after she finishes her four-year degree, she aims to use her study of economics to lead projects that raise the standard of living for working people in her home country of Burma. As Win Shwe Win Shwe Yee (center) is congratulated by Marianne Kaletzky, AFT 1493 Executive Secretary,
and Katharine Harer, AFT 1493 Co-Vice President

wrote in her application, “Although I have the privilege of being a first-generation college student, I came from a developing country where more than 70% of people try to survive on less than $2 a day, therefore one of my career goals is to contribute and develop sustainable economic growth in my country. To be specific, I have always been interested in the Hotel and Tourism industry and my goal is to contribute to the economy by developing sustainable tourism in Myanmar. One of the reasons is because we have a UNESCO site that is valued by the world and deserves to be preserved.”

Win Shwe doesn’t just dream of building infrastructure that provides jobs while giving back to the Burmese people: she’s already done it with her creation of Hand in Hand Tutoring Center, a tutoring service that provides job opportunities for recent graduates in Burma (who face rising unemployment following the February 2021 military coup) while also offering low-cost education to youth. Win Shwe reports that “After about 3 months we have over 40 classes in progress and are able to provide paid peer tutor opportunities to over 10 youths and internship opportunities to over 6 passionate young adults.”

AFT’s annual scholarship recognizes an exceptional student who demonstrates a clear commitment to social justice, especially worker justice. This year, our scholarship committee consisted of Salumeh Eslamieh of Cañada, David Laderman of CSM, and Katharine Harer of Skyline. The committee was inspired by Win Shwe’s dedication to preserving the natural environment and cultural heritage sites in Burma while also helping to expand opportunities for just, fairly paid employment. We are honored to award her the 2022 AFT 1493 Scholarship in recognition of her creativity, thoughtfulness, hard work, and true commitment to social justice.

Find an article here on our 2021 awardees, Nigel Hawkins of Cañada and Hannah Hersey of CSM.