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Local 1303 Awards College Scholarships

From left: Gena Hallisey, Kara Hallisey, Abby Grommisch, Colleen Grommisch and Ed Zimnoch.

Local 1303 Awards College Scholarships

Call it an investment in the future and a way of giving back. 

AFSCME Local 1303, representing more than 8,000 municipal and non-profit human service employees, awarded eight $1,000 college scholarships to the children of local union members. 

The eight high school seniors were awarded their scholarships from a large pool of applicants who authored an essay, “How Does Being Part of a Union Family Benefit Your Life.” 

Among the winners are Kara Hallisey, whose mother Gena is a member of Local 1303-132 (CREC) and Abbey Grommisch, whose mother Colleen is a member of Local 1303-050 (Naugatuck Board of Education). 

Kara, a Wethersfield High School graduate, will attend Southern Connecticut State University in the fall. Her essay focused on how Local 1303 members have rallied around paraprofessional Vanessa Dumas-Console of Local 1303-132 in her battle with breast cancer (The 4-Word, February 2009), raising money to defray health care costs and trying to donate sick days. 

“Vanessa’s story taught me that unions do more than fight for employees’ rights in the workplace,” Kara wrote. “I learned the meaning of ‘union family,’ a family made up of compassionate people who reach out to their own.” 

Abbey,a Woodland Regional High School graduate, will attend the University of Connecticut this fall. She wrote about the multitude of union benefits that have provided the Grommisch family with security in troubled economic times. 

“During my recovery from [tonsillitis] surgery, my mother was able to take paid time off from her job to stay with me. I was in a lot of pain and taking medication; it was comforting to have her home,” Abbey reflected. 

Congratulations to Abbey, Kara and all the winners of the Local 1303 scholarship winners listed below, with their union parent's name in parenthesis: 

Jaclyn D'Albero- Central CT State University
(Jutta D'Albero- Local 1303-124)  

Brittany Garofola- Southern CT State University
(Cheryl Garofola- Local 1303-254)

Abbey Grommisch- University of Connecticut
(Coleen Grommisch- Local 1303-050) 

Kara Hallisey- Southern CT State University
(Gena Hallisey- Local 1303-132) 

Mary-Beth Kinchen- Gettysburg College
(Richard Ballard Local 1303-261) 

Tess O'Rourke- Western New England College
(Leslie O'Rourke- Local 1303-197) 

Ryan Ohanesian-Keene State College
(Tammy Ohanesian- Local 1303-408) 

Priya Ranade- University of Connecticut
(Jyotsna Ranade- Local 1303-209)

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