CFL News
June 21, 2019

William A. Lee Memorial Scholarship Recipients

William A. Lee Memorial Scholarship Recipients

Each year, the Chicago Federation of Labor awards 10 William A. Lee Memorial Scholarships, valued at $2,000 each, to high school seniors. This year was no exception and the ceremony in which the recipients received their award was held on May 15 at the office of the CFL.

Applicants can apply for only one of two categories: random or academic, although both categories must submit an essay as part of the application requirement. Additionally, either the applicant or a parent must be a member in good standing of a CFL-affiliated union. Random applicants were drawn during the April Delegates meeting, and the academic winners were chosen by an outside committee.

Thomas Patrick O’Connor wrote about his own experience working as a janitor. He stated, “I worked alongside a staff of fulltime janitors. These men all belonged to a union and were inclusive with their discussion of union matters. I learned a lot about the issues that were settled through their union. At the end of the summer, the union hosted a luncheon. Although the event was mainly to celebrate completion of the summer cleaning, union matters were discussed. I saw the men that I worked with, and respected, voice their opinion on matters concerning vacation time, sick days, and other matter. I witnessed firsthand how powerful a platform these union meetings provide.”