National Union Scholarship winners for 2023 

November 6 2023

We continue to be impressed with each and every scholarship essay that we receive and this year’s entrants stood out for their thoughtful and well written entries that made it challenging to identify winners.” said Bert Blundon, NUPGE President, “For the winners, we hope our financial assistance will go some way to helping them achieve their dreams.” 

Each year, the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) offers 9 scholarships that reflect its pursuit of equal opportunity for all workers. They are offered to members and the children/grandchildren and the foster children/ grandchildren of current or retired NUPGE members who are engaged in a post-secondary education in a Canadian public institution. The National Union is pleased to announce the winners of these awards. 

Brian Fudge Memorial Scholarship 

Micah Wu’s parent is HSABC/NUPGE member Mark Wu.  In commenting on their chosen studies in nursing, and reflecting on the empathetic care both his brother and grandfather received while in hospital, Micah stated that the “public services that nurses deliver in healthcare includes all Canadians.  Their skill set and responsibilities…benefit the populace and deliver the highest level of public services to Canadians…(and) they stand as a pillar of support and the face of strength for all.” 

Scholarship For Black Students 

Lefika Noko’s parent is NSGEU/NUPGE member Sizakele Noko.  Lefika’s role models of African descent are Nelson Mandella and Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pelé) due to their impact on their societies as “they faced plenty of challenges such as racism, injustice and inequalities”.  This “led them to fight for their beliefs and values by wanting to create a world with equal opportunities for minorities and people who were treated unfairly.”  Adding that “it is important to stick to what I believe in and to persevere no matter the circumstances, in order to attain my goals.” 

Scholarship For Indigenous Students 

James Ryan’s parent is NAPE/NUPGE member Diane Brake.  James as a First Nations person, has seen the “impact of colonization, forced assimilation policies, and the residential school system…leading to intergenerational trauma and the erosion of cultural identity.”  He concluded that “quality public services play a fundamental role in enhancing the quality of life of Indigenous students…by addressing historical inequities, providing access to quality education, supporting holistic well-being, preserving cultural identity, and fostering partnerships and collaboration….(that contribute) to positive outcomes for Indigenous students.”  

Scholarship For 2SLGBTQIA+ Students  

Madelaine Brown’s parent is a NSGEU/NUPGE member Heather Brown.  Madelaine has seen that unions “have been amazing in supporting the LGBTQ+ community.  By negotiating agreements and contracts that explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity, unions have ensured that LGBTQ+ individuals are safeguarded against discrimination in the workplace.”  She stated that “these policies have helped create a more equitable environment where LGBTQ+ workers can thrive without fear of prejudice or bias.” 

Scholarship For Students Of Colour 

Lokavya Jain’s parent is BCGEU/NUPGE member Sarika Jain.  Lokavya recognized the positive impact of public services on education, transportation, recreation, and settlement services, by sharing her experience as part of an immigrant family to Canada.  She stated that “a high percentage of thousands of immigrants Canada welcomes each year are people of colour” and that her parents are “grateful for the Immigrant Preparatory Program and Bridging Program they attended after their immigration, which taught them important skills” and included providing financial assistance. 

Terry Fox Memorial Scholarship 

Kalen Grindley is a member of BCGEU/NUPGE and stated that “the support and help quality public services gives people…cannot be overstated.”  By providing “access to high-quality healthcare, inclusive education, accessible transportation and a comprehensive social support service….(it) promotes inclusivity…reduces discrimination and fosters social integration.” 

Tommy Douglas Scholarship 

Kenzie Prentice’s parent is HSAA/NUPGE member Sonia Prentice.  In her essay she noted Tommy Douglas’ role in developing “groundbreaking policies such as Medicare, a Canada-wide pension plan and bargaining rights for civil servants.”  She observed that he “understood the importance of compassion and social justice.  His commitment to helping the marginalized lead him to become a political force advocating for a fairer Canada…(thus) playing a crucial role in shaping Canada’s social fabric.” 

Young Worker Scholarships 

Grace MacMaster’s parent is BCGEU/NUPGE Local 101 member Roger MacMaster.  In her essay she stated that “unions have been historically central to improving working conditions and elevating the concerns of workers.  The contemporary workplace has seen rapid technological advancements, leading to increased job insecurity for many…Strong bargaining power, the ability to protect worker rights, a commitment to safety and an emphasis on skill development all contribute to the continued effectiveness of unions.” 

Ashley Taylor’s parent is OPSEU/SEFPO/NUPGE Local 212 member Rosemarie Hall.  In reflecting on the ways that unions remain vital for workers, Ashley too asserted that “unions are still an important aspect of the contemporary workplace due to their role in safeguarding workers’ rights, promoting healthy workplace relations, and addressing the challenges that arise from the evolving workforce.”  She added that the COVID-19 pandemic revealed “more barriers for those from lower socioeconomic classes” and stated that there is a critical need for unions during challenging times.