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Meet our 2022 AFTW Scholarship Recipients!

Ilee Smith, daughter of members Kyle and Kim Smith of the Superior Federation of Teachers, Local 202, was awarded the first annual AFT-W Kathy Monaghan Memorial Scholarship.  Ilee plans to attend the College of Saint Scholastica to earn her undergraduate degree in a medical field before pursuing a Masters and possible Doctorate degree in a medical field.  Ilee is currently a member of the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), Local 1189 at Ecumen Lakeshore.  She has experienced the importance of unions firsthand in addition to all she has learned and experienced through education and observing her parents' experiences. 

Seryahna Shuler-Masci, daughter of S. Katrice Shuler of Northwood Technical College, Local 395, was awarded the AFT-W Memorial Scholarship.  Seryahna plans on attending Western Washington University to pursue a degree in Journalism and pursue a Masters to become an environmental journalist to write about the current climate crisis.  When the Act 10 protests were held, Seryahna and her family traveled to the capital numerous times.  Her grandfather was a unionist as well and Seryahna has memories of singing songs like “Which Side Are You On” while sitting around the campfire.  Her favorite movie was Newsies.  Seryahna understands the importance of unions to give power back to the people.  Unions not only give voice to workers' thoughts, concerns, and opinions but also gives them real power in decision-making. 

Emily Mulvenna, daughter of Kevin and Kelly Mulvenna, Local 212 was awarded the AFT-W Phil Neuenfeldt Scholarship.  Emily plans to attend Marquette University or the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee to pursue a degree in Engineering/Graphics to address her love of graphic arts and design before beginning further studies to obtain her graduate degree.  Emily remembers being on her father’s shoulders during the protests at the capital for Act 10.  She remembers when Reverend Jesse Jackson raised her above the protestors and said “This is what we’re fighting for!”  The events of Act 10 made an impact on Emily but over the years the impression deepened.  Unions were at their most prosperous during the height of union membership.  She recognizes that today, more than ever, workers need to organize and form unions to “level the playing field” for wages and benefits.  Emily knows the history of the Triangle Fire, Haymarket Riot and Milwaukee’s own Bay View Massacre where workers who dared to organize were subject to incredible cruelty, violence and death at the hands of their bosses, hired guns and law enforcement.  Emily’s dad tells her, "unions bring democracy to the workplace,” and she has seen this firsthand.  She participates in the annual Labor Day Parade, rallies, and marches.  She’s “done doors” since an early age and held her own clipboard when ringing doorbells.  She listened to her parents talking to voters about the issues that affect working people.  She listened to her late grandfather, a union fireman, tell the story of the 1978 strike he helped lead and win in Aurora, Illinois.  Emily has a history of staunch activism and recognizes the benefits her family has gained through their union.  She is proud of her union history and her progressive values.

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