Local 1408 of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) in Jacksonville has awarded a record-setting $48,000 in scholarships to 43 area high school seniors and college students, the largest group of recipients to date.
ILA 1408 is a labor union representing many of the dockworkers who move cargo at JAXPORT’s shipping terminals.
The ILA scholarship program has awarded more than 800 scholarships totaling more than half a million dollars since it started in 1995.
Local 1408 president Vince Cameron, a third generation longshoreman, said the value of the scholarships presented today is nearly twice what was awarded last year.
“Just like we have grown this scholarship fund, the opportunities in our port community continue to grow,” said Cameron. “The more growth we have in Northeast Florida’s maritime industry and at our port, the more revenue we have flowing into this community. There is a direct correlation.”
Recipient Khyon White, a 2017 graduate of Robert E. Lee High School who will attend the University of Florida in the fall, says she plans to use the money to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor.
“This scholarship is a blessing,” Khyon said. “It’s a boost that motivates me to do better and work toward my goal of owning my own medical practice and giving back to the community.”
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.
ILA Local 1408 helps connect more than 1,200 men and women with jobs at JAXPORT. Opportunities for these members continue to grow along with the port.