One of this year’s winners of the Joe Beirne Foundation Scholarship is Sandra Debnar, a 15-year member of the Detroit Typographical Union #18/CWA 14503 who works at the Legislative Service Bureau in Lansing, Michigan.
The Communications Workers of America Joe Beirne Foundation was established in October 1974, by the CWA Executive Board to honor the name and memory of the Union’s founding president, who served for more than 30 years. The Foundation awards 16 partial college scholarships of $4,000 to applicants selected in a lottery drawing. Winners can receive an additional $4,000 for a second year of study contingent on academic achievement.
Debnar is excited by the award and will be attending Lansing Community College to study photography, video production and multimedia.
“I wanted to go back to school,” said Debnar, “and I thought ‘who has the time or money to go back to school?’ Then, Local President Tom Grenfell told me about the scholarship and encouraged me to apply for it. And now, I am headed to back to college.”
Debnar said that she chose her fields of study because she’s using them increasingly at work. The Legislative Services Bureau is responsible for printing for the State of Michigan among other things. She chose Lansing Community College because “it’s pretty close to work and they have a great multimedia program there.”
Debnar went to college following high school, and is excited by how much it has changed, but is “very enthusiastic” about the opportunity and the scholarship.