September 2021 Advocate: AFT 1493 2021 Scholarships

AFT 1493 Scholarships

2021 AFT 1493 Scholarships awarded to Nigel Hawkins and Hannah Hersey

AFT is pleased to announce that this year’s AFT 1493 Scholarships have been awarded to two outstanding students, both 2021 graduates: Nigel Hawkins (he/him), who graduated magna cum laude from Cañada with degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies with Emphasis in Social and Behavioral Sciences, Psychology, and Sociology; and Hannah Hersey (they/them), who graduated from CSM magna cum laude with degrees in English and Sociology. Both Nigel and Hannah plan to transfer to four-year universities to complete their BAs, Nigel in Sociology and Hannah in English. Both Nigel and Hannah will receive $500 scholarships to support them as they continue their education.
During his time at Cañada, Nigel was president of the Black Student Union, where he promoted practices that foster safety and equity for marginalized students. Nigel participated in the planning for our AFT Teach-In on Social Justice Unionism, but unfortunately was unable to take part in the teach-in itself due to a last-minute conflict. Nigel writes in his personal statement that “I have aspirations of creating programs that will benefit and aid people dealing with addiction as well as programs that could better serve At-risk youth in low-income communities in the future. I feel that if I continue to thrive in my education, it will be a blessing for me and also a blessing I’d love to use to help others.” His paper on James Baldwin and the Harlem heroin epidemic was accepted to the UC Berkeley Honors Symposium and published in Think You! The Bay’s Honors Consortium. He notes that “My education taught me to take action by applying the knowledge I gained. My education has helped me to critically analyze society’s issues and ways I can contribute.”
AFT 1493 leaders know Hannah from their work as our AFT student intern. Among other remarkable contributions, Hannah had the idea for a campaign that would foster solidarity between students and part-time faculty by giving students suggestions for how to talk about adjunct working conditions with their professors. Hannah wrote in their personal statement that “my career goal is to be a librarian” because “A library is a place where I can constantly learn new things while providing assistance and resources for a community. Additionally, I plan to use my position as a librarian as a jumping off point for further organization and communication for marginalized individuals, advocating for the working class, and providing comprehensive information and education for people of all walks of life.” Hannah has a strong interest and commitment to labor studies as well as organizing more broadly.
Thanks to our 2021 AFT Scholarship Committee—Doniella Maher, David Lau, Marianne Kaletzky and Eric Brenner—for all their work reviewing these applications and for selecting these outstanding awardees!