NOT ONLY MUST applicants to the Boilermakers’ scholarship program meet all the eligibility requirements, they also have to complete a 300-500 word essay on an assigned topic.
While space does not permit publication of these essays in their entirety — or even excerpts from each of the 160 essays that were submitted — the Boilermaker Reporter would like to share the following views from some of our top 2008 scholarship recipients on this year’s topic: “What impact has growing up in a Boilermaker family had on your life thus far?”
Top award winner Stephanie Wirtz compared growing up in a union family to the Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
“Those that do not join unions fall victim to blood-thirsty corporations that suck the life out of them,” wrote Stephanie. “My dad, a rather intelligent man, has been a part of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers for years, keeping him safe from corporate fangs... The fair wages guaranteed to him through the Brotherhood would have been otherwise denied if left at the mercy of the batty companies.”
Aimee Bouffard, one of our $2,000 award recipients, said she grew up listening to her dad tell stories about the dangers of his work. She believes these stories keep her safe today.
“His stories of things that happened, or could happen at work made me more careful and aware, making me safer,” Aimee wrote. “I don’t just jump into things, I think about what could happen before. A father’s job is to protect his children, but he is not around all the time, and what he taught me can keep him at ease.”
Sean Goheen, a $1,500 scholarship recipient, credits the union for his interest in politics. He is hopeful of one day becoming president of the United States.
“Unions are very politically-based organizations, and as a direct result of this, I have grown up in a very politically-attentive family,” Sean stated. “This has led to my overwhelming interest in social studies, with a particular emphasis in history and political science... It is the union Boilermaker family upbringing that has clearly affected my career goal... It is this upbringing that has nurtured my interest in politics.”