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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (August 4, 2021) – The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Local 1408 Scholarship Fund awarded more than $33,000 in scholarships to 20 area college students during a ceremony today at Edward Waters University (EWU). ILA 1408 is a labor union representing many of the longshoremen and dock workers who move cargo through JAXPORT’s terminals.
“You should be applauded for your great achievements, in particular having persisted in your studies during the midst of a global pandemic,” EWU President and CEO Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr. said to students during the ceremony. “You did so while maintaining a commitment to academic excellence and community service and for that you should be most proud. We as a community are equally proud of your diligence and your persistence.”
Established in 1995, the ILA 1408 scholarship program has awarded 1,000 scholarships totaling nearly $800,000. The majority of recipients are first-generation college students.
“A quality college education should be an option for every student, regardless of their financial circumstances,” said the fund’s founder, Charles Spencer, who has served Jacksonville’s port community in positions of increasing responsibility with the ILA for the last 58 years. “Seeing our recipients go on to succeed and give back to the community has been an honor and a privilege.”
To be considered for the scholarship, local applicants were required to have a minimum 3.0 GPA, complete community service activities and submit an essay.
“I’m just really thankful,” said Paxon High School for Advanced Studies graduate Avionne Douglas who is currently pursuing a clinical professions degree with a concentration in pharmacy from Florida State University. “I was nervous about going to college in the first place and how I was going to pay for it, so the scholarship is truly a blessing.”
ILA 1408 is a local chapter of the International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL-CIO, the largest union of maritime workers in North America, representing upwards of 65,000 longshoremen on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, Great Lakes, major U.S. rivers, Puerto Rico and Eastern Canada.
Local 1408 helps connect more than 1,100 men and women with jobs at JAXPORT. Opportunities for these members continue to grow along with the port.
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